What is TTS and How it Changes Your Life

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I. What is TTS:

Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology converts text into natural-sounding speech. This is a simulation of human voices by a computer, with a speech synthesizer transforming written text into spoken words. The earliest known device to mimic human speech was built over 200 years ago by Wolfgang von Kempelen. In the latter half of the 19th century, individuals like Hermann von Helmholtz began synthesizing vowels and other consonants by adding harmonic waveforms with proper amplitude. Nowadays, applications, phones, computers and even cars are equipped with sophisticated built-in TTS tools.

II. How is TTS realized:

This process can be roughly divided into three stages: preprocessing, speech synthesis, and post-processing.

  1. Preprocessing: This stage is mainly to clean and process the input text, including tokenizing, part-of-speech tagging, syntactic analysis, etc. These processes help the model comprehend the semantic information of the text, preparing it for subsequent speech synthesis.
  2. Speech Synthesis: Based on the preprocessing, the speech synthesis stage converts text into speech waveforms through models. The mainstream method of speech synthesis is deep learning-based, using neural network models to mimic the way humans pronounce. This process involves the training of acoustic models, and the control of prosody, timbre, and other aspects.
  3. Postprocessing: The post-processing stage is to optimize the generated speech, such as adjusting the pitch, volume, etc., making the synthesized speech more natural and smooth.

III. What can TTS do:

Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology has wide applications in many areas, providing people with a richer and more convenient way of interaction. The following are some specific examples:

  1. Assistive Devices: For people with visual impairments or reading difficulties, such as the blind and dyslexic, TTS technology enables them to understand and receive text information. For instance, they can use it to listen to news, articles, and even web content. In fact, many e-readers and e-book applications have built-in TTS functions to help these users “read” books.
  2. Navigation Systems and Mobile Applications: In embedded systems like car navigation systems, TTS can announce driving directions, preventing drivers from taking their eyes off the road. Besides, many smartphone map applications support voice navigation, with TTS playing an indispensable role within.
  3. Communication Systems: TTS is widely used in auto-responders and voice mail systems. It can transform the messages left by the callers into text, then from text to speech, allowing the recipient to listen when busy.
  4. Education: In language learning, TTS can provide standard pronunciation, which serves as a good reference for learners. During self-study, users can use TTS at any time to check and imitate accurate pronunciation. Also, in remote teaching or online courses, TTS can be used to automate the reading of course materials.
  5. Entertainment: In computer or mobile games, characters’ dialogue, or plot revelation, might be generated using TTS, helping to enhance the sense of immersion in the game. Simultaneously, in some educational games for children, TTS can help kids learn new words and their correct pronunciation.
  6. Public Transportation: In subways, trains, or even airplanes’ PA systems, TTS might be used to broadcast voice messages such as where the next stop is or station announcements.
  7. News Broadcasting: Some news broadcasters or sites use TTS technology to create news broadcasts, letting users listen to the news when they are too busy to read.
  8. Smart Home Devices: For instance, smart speakers used at home to control screens, lights, music playback, etc. use TTS to make us understand what instructions they’ve received and what reactions made.
  9. Customer Services: Many companies cleverly use TTS technology to provide round-the-clock services through self-service telephone or online chatbots. Whether querying account information or providing answer support, they can provide voice responses through TTS.
  10. Healthcare & Medicine: TTS can be used in some medical devices, such as glucometers or sphygmomanometers, etc., allowing people to obtain data readings by listening. Besides, for patients with limited language communication, like those with aphasia or medically unable to speak, communication devices combined with TTS can help them communicate with others.
  11. Video Production and Creation: In this area, Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology also plays a pivotal role. Video creators can leverage TTS technology to generate voice narrations for their videos, eliminating the need for recording themselves or hiring professional voice actors, saving time and cost. Sketches, scripts, or edits can quickly be transformed into spoken language using TTS and added to videos, thus allowing creators to produce and iterate their work more swiftly. Another upside of using TTS is that aspects like accent, tone, speed, and volume can all be adjusted as needed. This level of flexibility lets creators have explicit control over the audio portion of their videos, enabling it to better meet their needs. For those who are creating content on platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, TTS technology can aid them in effortlessly adding voiceovers to their videos, creating tutorials, unboxing videos, product reviews, video game livestreams, and more.

Every successful Speech Synthesis (TTS) product is inseparable from high-quality and stable audio data and nearly 100% accurate annotations. Luvvoice with many years of experience in the TTS field, is committed to exploring how to use advanced technology to continuously innovate. Our voice data collection services include Speech Synthesis, ASR, and dialect collection. With a team of senior linguists and professional collection experience, we’re global leaders in voice data services.

Start using Luvvoice’s TTS technology and transform your life today.