Software MacKiev, a company that specializes in helping software publishers adopt and implement Apple technology, are introducing a Speech Enabler for World Book Encyclopedia for Mac OS X at this week’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) 2002 in San Antonio, TX.
The World Book Speech Enabler makes extensive use of Apple voice recognition and speech synthesis technologies and lets users navigate the encyclopedia by voice, Michael Ross, the vice president and publisher of World Book, said. In fact, you can have every article of the 22-volume World Book Encyclopedia read aloud to you, if you wish.
“World Book is the first major application to take full advantage of Mac OS X’s speech recognition and voice-to-speech capabilities,” Ross said.
The Speech Enabler is based on speech technology that’s built into Mac OS X, so it doesn’t need to be added to the system, he said. Anyone who has installed the two-disc World Book set or bought an iMac, iBook or eMac which has the set pre-installed can download the Speech Enabler update from within the program and be up and running “in minutes.” The software purportedly doesn’t need to be trained to recognize your voice.
“We originally meant to make the Speech Enabler for vision-impaired Mac OS X users,” Jack Minksy, president of Software MacKiev, said. “We’ve found, however, that navigating by voice has a much broader appeal, so we’re pleased to make this added functionality available for free to all users of World Book Encyclopedia for Mac OS X.”
The Speech Enabler requires Mac OS X 10.1.5 and works with all versions of World Book Encyclopedia for Mac OS X (which retails for US$59.95). World Book owners can find the update by choosing Speech Technology from the World Book application menu. The encyclopedia can be purchased from the
Apple online store
and the World Book online store.