We developed unique interface. Now our website provides an opportunity to listen to any article in one click. For this purpose, you don’t need to download, install anything. No manipulations with text required. You just push play button
on article page and listen to your Smartphone or PC read it aloud. You can pause the reading with the same button. If necessary, you can adjust the speed of reading. Everything is simple!
Nowadays, dozens of IT-companies develop virtual voice assistants – software try to interact with users by voice trough implementation of artificial intelligence. However, existing virtual assistants are far from being perfect and
have not become a part of our everyday life yet. We have decided to focus on what gadgets can already do well – transform text to speech.
The capability to listen to the text is very useful. Busy users can listen to the text while doing other things, e. g. driving a car or doing sports. “The reader” transforms the text to speech with your gadget – without downloading
anything or even loading the audio file. Site owner just need to install our widget – so users don't need to do anything at all.
With an easy access interface, website users can listen to the latest news and other materials they are interested in without peering at the Smartphone screen. This technology is especially useful for visually challenged people. The
capability to increase font size or zoom the whole page is useful, but it doesn’t solve the problem. Especially, when a person wants to read more than two lines. In this case, the option to listen to the text can be the most comfortable
means of obtaining information from the website.
For the moment, we are the first website that has implemented such technological solution. It is strange that nobody has used this opportunity yet, though its idea seems to be quite obvious. However, we have not found anything alike.
The interface usage statistics shows that a large number of users, who begin listening to a piece of news, listen it till the end and/or try to adjust the speed. So, they are not just interested to check new button. Visitors having
tried it once begin to use this technology.
During the development process, we used voice synthesis technology built in the majority of modern browsers. This technology is young and still quite unstable. Many features do not work in accordance with the documents, some features
do not work at all, and some things are difficult to access, since there is no clear description. The situation was made worse by the fact that instability of this technology differed on various platforms. If you take into
account the multiplicity of devices used by the visitors to access the Internet, you will understand that we manage to do an almost impossible thing.
Versia wanted to present you a service with stable operation on the broadest range of popular platforms. In such conditions, we could solve the problem only by trial-and- error method, with multiple tests on each target platform
and continuous adjustment according to the test results. Thus, step by step, we achieved the desired result. Currently, the service is available to most of the users of current versions of such popular browsers as Chrome (and
other Chromium- browsers), Safari, Firefox and Microsoft Edge, on Windows, Android and iOS operating systems.
IT-specialists of Versia keep on improving the code. During the development process, we have already managed to make the program read articles on different languages (depending on the language indicated in the html code). Thus,
our “child” is growing, and at this moment can already read aloud web pages in most of the languages!
Acknowledgment of the unique interface
The new feature of Versia website has appeared quite recently, however, this technology has already received several awards. Moscow Union of Journalists represented by its chairman Pavel Gusev awarded us diploma “For the First Use
of Innovative Text-to- Speech Technology on a Mass Media Website”. The Institute of Internet Development noted that the interface developed by Versia for reading web page texts by PCs and Smartphones is a promising product for
implementation in web development of resources, especially for disabled people (visually challenged). Regional Public Centre of Internet Technologies (ROCIT) has issued the certificate confirming the unique character of the cross-platform
interface for reading selected texts on the web pages.
A range of companies has already liked the product developed by Versia, and many of them are interested in installing such widget on their site. Thus, we have begun to think about its distribution. We have begun discussion of possible
installation of this technology with several companies in order to optimize their sites for visually challenged people.
Versia states that it is ready to consider any inquiries – write at e-mail, and we will prepare a proposal for adaptation and installation of this module according to the requirements of a certain website. Also, we are interested in obtaining feedback on your experience of using this service. Reviews and suggestions will help us improve our service and make it more convenient.