Happy talk: The world's first speaking Freeview box lands

Smart Talk and Goodmans have launched the world's first talking Freeview set top box, offering a useful text-to-speech option for users that struggle with on screen words.

The TTS capabilities are aimed squarely at groups such as the elderly, blind or partially sighted, and dyslexic who have to deal daily with EPGs, digital text and on screen menus and settings.

The Smart Talk box is a joint effort from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Harvard International, Pixsan and Loquendo.

Steve Tyler from the RNIB said: “The development of this product will allow millions of people across the UK to enjoy digital television independently.  It is fantastic to see it becoming a reality”.

John Edwards, director of communications at Harvard International added: “We are thrilled to be joining together with such respected and knowledgeable organisations to share the joint vision of creating a product which could help millions of people to enjoy the latest digital television”.

The box has all the usual features that you'd expect with a Freeview machine such as a 7-day EPG, reminders and parental controls.

It's out this month and you'll be able to get one directly from the RNIB to begin with before it hits the High Street. No word on price as of yet.



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