Apple says it is incorporating speech technology into new versions of its OS X operating system which will make Macs more accessible to users who are visually impaired as well as people with learning difficulties.
...Gotta say I'm more than a little bit confused about what's being announced here, as anything the BBC article mentions is not only a feature that is currently in MacOSX (every version up to, and including 10.3.3), but was in the MacOS even before OSX!!
Shit -- OS8
had Spoken User Interface (they called it Talking Alerts back then). All OS9 added was speech recognition on top of all that. At one point I had gotten so used to speaking my login password to my Mac, that I forgot how to type it one morning, having left my mic at home... Maybe they're adding more natural sounding voices?? I dunno..
It's just an odd story, because everything they're talking about is sitting here next to me on this G5 -- found in the preference panes "Speech" (oddly enough), and "Universal Access" (the high-contrast, large-type stuff).
Apart from a few name changes and such, that's pretty much where those features have been since ~1997
edit: My bad. OS8.6 added Plain Talk
-- "a collection of software programs that let your Macintosh speak written text and respond to spoken commands. PlainTalk 1.5.4 includes English Text-to-Speech, Mexican Spanish Text-to-Speech, and English Speech Recognition." So that'd be '97 for text-to-speech, '99 for speech recognition..http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=60339
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I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.