TaleTUC: Text-to-Speech and Other Enhancements to Existing Bus Route Information Systems
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As smartphone sales increase, the demand for content for these devices alsoincreases. Service providers that want to reach out to as many users as possibleneed to create smartphone applications that satisfy people that do not fall intothe "normal user" category. People that require non-visual feedback, such asvisually impaired persons, need output in form of auditory signals. Text-tospeechsynthesis provides this functionality, giving the smartphone the abilityto convey messages in the form of speech.This thesis describes TaleTUC: Text-to-speech, a proof of concept text-to-speechsystem for the domain of bus route information. The system uses a client-serverarchitecture where the server converts text to computer-generated speech signalsand provides playable audio files either directly to the smartphone, orthrough a Java Servlet that provides functionality to tailor the output (e.g., audiocompression). Descriptions of other enhancements to bus route informationsystems, that are are not directly related to synthesized speech, have also beengiven.Three text-to-speech modules have been evaluated and to establish whetherthere is a link between intelligibility and naturalness in synthesized speech.Non-functional tests (transfer, response time, etc) have also been conductedto get an impression of whether service providers that use "cloud" technologyprovide a better service than an in-house system. There are no definitive answersto these questions, but results indicate that there might be a link (howeversmall) between intelligibility and naturalness and that an in-house systemis still preferable in the domain of bus route information.