Friday, November 26, 2010
The web finds its voice
One of my main sources for news in the field of e-learning is the Tunisia-based e-learning portal e-Taalim (it means e-learning in Arabic). They've just added a nice new feature; a built-in text-to-voice function that allows you to listen to all content in all three languages (Arabic, French, English). Each article has a listen button and you can even download the article as a sound file (mp3). Read more at eTaalim: the first Tunisian website to vocalize entire content.
Of course you can get text-to-voice for web pages in other ways but you need to know how to activate them. This service is attractive because you can't really miss it and you simply press the button to start. I hope this type of service becomes even more widespread and even simpler to access. It should be as simple as possible to listen to web content, to enlarge text size and to adjust text colour and contrast as a service to all. This is also one area where e-books win over print. Think of getting an e-magazine or e-book that you can listen to in the car and then continue reading when you get home as well as being able to take notes and look up unfamiliar words. Plus being able to adjust the brightness, contrast, size and colour of what is shown on the screen.
The question is whether publishers are willing to bundle in this way and how they charge for it all. It could be a winning combination.