Charmtech Labs Partners With NeoSpeech To Remove Barriers Between People And Information
Charmtech Labs, with the help of NeoSpeech voices, is revolutionizing the way people consume digital content. What started as a mission to help people with vision impairments has turned into a dedicated effort to enhance all of our digital experiences.
Much of the content online is displayed in text. We see it in news stories, blogs, information pages, etc. For people with vision disabilities, consuming this type of content can be difficult.
As the digital world became more available to the masses, this created a market for screen readers. Screen readers are computer applications that can read all of the text on the screen and then convert it to audio using a synthesized voice. This text-to-speech technology made text content more accessible to people with vision impairments.
In 2010, when Charmtech Labs was founded, screen readers had already been introduced to the market and were available to people with disabilities. Dr. Yevgen Borodin, who is the co-founder, President, and CEO of Charmtech Labs, sought out to do more than just market this technology to people with disabilities. He wanted this type of product to go mainstream.
Charmtech Labs went to work developing an application that had all the features of a screen reader, but one that would also appeal to more than just people with disabilities. The result was Capti Narrator, or Capti for short. This is Charmtech Labs’ flagship product.
“From the beginning, we started thinking about how to get it to the mainstream” said Dr. Borodin, “We created a playlist because it’s an interface that everyone is familiar with”.
Unlike other screen readers, Capti lets you import any text content into a playlist, which you can then play and listen to at your convenience. For this reason, Dr. Borodin says that Capti isn’t a just a screen reader, “it’s a personal podcast application”, he said.
Users can add digital text to their Capti playlist. They can edit their playlist however they prefer, and then listen to it whenever they want. This gives people the ability to consume digital content without using their eyes. They can listen to the content they choose to listen to while working out, cleaning, driving, or while doing just about any other activity.
Capti works with any text content found from the Web, Clipboard, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Pocket, Instapaper, Bookshare, and documents from the local drive. Users can add content from multiple file formats including PDF, DOC(X), PPT, HTML, RTF, ODT, EPUB, DAISY, etc.
Last week, Capti also announced that it had made more the 50,000 free eBooks by Project Gutenberg universally accessible. Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books. Several timeless classics including The Jungle Book, A Tale of Two Cities, Moby Dick, and Dracula are offered for free through Project Gutenberg.
Now, Capti lets you add any of the eBooks from Project Gutenberg directly to your playlist, so you can listen to the book whenever, and wherever, you choose.
This high level of compatibility is just one of the reasons that Capti is an award-winning text-to-speech product. For example, Capti was awarded the Chairman’s Award for Advancing Accessibility in Mobile Web Browsers Category by the Federal Communications Commission in June 2014.
Another big reason why Capti Narrator is a leading text-to-speech product is because of its price, or actually, the lack of one. You can download Capti on Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad for free.
“Most apps can charge up to 20 dollars, we didn’t want to charge,” said Dr. Borodin, “We wanted it to be free with premium features available for in-app purchases”. This business model has proven to be successful. Capti Narrator has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and is featured in the iOS App Store’s list of top accessibility apps.
On the Capti Narrator iOS app, you can find more than a dozen NeoSpeech voices. When asked why Charmtech Labs wanted to use NeoSpeech’s voices, Dr. Borodin talked about his customer’s preferences.
“Several NeoSpeech voices are preferred by blind people,” said Dr. Borodin. He explained that many blind people like to accelerate the speech rate of the voices. This allows the user to digest content quicker. When listening to different accelerated voices, customers told Dr. Borodin that NeoSpeech’s voices sounded the best.
Customers also commented that NeoSpeech had the best Asian language voices, which include Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. For these reasons, Dr. Borodin said it was easy to turn to NeoSpeech to provide text-to-speech voices.
So what’s next for Capti and Charmtech Labs? Dr. Borodin is focused on getting Capti in the classroom. His vision is for Capti to be used by teachers in classrooms everywhere as an assistive-software that will facilitate information consumption for students.
Capti would allow ELL (English Language Learners) and Special Education students to catch up and then keep up with General Ed students. Teachers can use Capti to save time, evaluate students, offer differential instruction, and motivate them to read anything, at anytime, and anywhere.
Today, more than a hundred educational institutions use Capti. Fox5 in New York produced this interesting story on how one high school is using Capti to help students read.
At NeoSpeech, we’re proud to partner with a company dedicated to improving the world with text-to-speech technology. If you’re interested in seeing what the hype is about, head to Capti’s website and download it yourself for free. Or you can find Capti on the App Store on your iPhone or iPad, where it is also free. We’re excited to see what the future holds for Charmtech Labs as they continue to grow at a fast pace.
What do you think?
Have you tried Capti? What did you think of the playlist interface? What do you use Capti for and why? Let us know in the comments!
Learn More about NeoSpeech’s Text-to-Speech
To learn more about the different areas in which Text-to-Speech technology can be used, visit our Text-to-Speech Areas of Application page. And to learn more about the products we offer, visit our Text-to-Speech Products page.
If you’re interested in adding Text-to-Speech software to your application or would like to learn more about TTS, please fill out our Sales Inquiry form and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.