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Development of DaisyRings™, a content transliteration support system utilizing text-to-speech technology to support the creation of e-books for the visually impaired

2014/02

Overview

Toshiba has developed a content transliteration system called "DaisyRings™", which allows users to create spoken content easily using text-to-speech technology. Users can correct the text and accent information easily on a web browser. The system is designed for librarians, volunteers and teachers to help them make and edit content for the visually impaired.

Development background

With e-books gaining popularity, book-reading utilizing text-to-speech technology is likely to be used for assisted reading for the visually impaired. However, e-book contents created for reading and display have various problems of misreading, wrong accents and reading without pauses. Moreover, transliteration of a book by read it aloud by volunteers is laborious and time-consuming.

DaisyRings™, a content transliteration support system

Toshiba has developed DaisyRings™, a text-to-speech technology-based content transliteration support system to assist the transliteration of large quantities of books and specialized books, which is difficult to do by human narration. The user can upload a text for transliteration and download the edited content as a voice file and DAISY-formatted file. The system is easy to use and the text and accent information can be corrected by inputting "ruby-type" data. To make a pause, the user only needs to insert a code.
The user can choose from four types of high-quality artificial voices (two men and two women) developed by Toshiba to make the narration sound natural and the reading experience more enjoyable.
The conventional method of transliterating and editing a 150-page text takes about one and a half months, but the new system can shorten the process to only one week. The system has been used for free by volunteers and librarians for one year since November 2013 (Note), and by the Japan Braille Library since December 2013.

"DaisyRings™" transliteration cloud service https://daisyrings.jp

(Note) The functions differ by type of user.

(1) Users allowed to use all the functions: "Persons designated by Cabinet Order" stipulated in Article 37-3 of the Copyright Act who are allowed to engage in the transliteration of books for the visually impaired without permission of authors, and persons who belong to "educational institutions" stipulated in Article 35 of the Copyright Act (e.g. public libraries, Braille libraries, school teachers).
・The "group share function" may be utilized by a number of persons designated by Cabinet Order.

(2) Limited functions (no downloading): Other than the above

Outlook

We plan to apply the technology to voice content creation businesses and continue to improve the text-to-speech technology to satisfy various needs.