Livewire Assistant Speech Features
Livewire Assistant (LWA) is currently testing new speech features based on SAPI (Microsoft Speech API) 5.0. These features are not yet available in publically released builds.
The audio checklist feature is a testbed for two new, experimental features, text-to-speech and keyboard hooking. The first of these two features is covered here. When using this feature, LWA will read a properly formatted text checklist to the user using keyboard inputs. The following operations can be performed:
The text is currently read using the default SAPI voice which is set in Start->Control Panel->Speech->Text-to-Speech. Windows XP includes a single free voice, Microsoft Sam. Unfortunately, Sam is not very clear and is not at all natural sounding. Microsoft has also released for download two other free voices, Mike and Mary, which are not significant improvements. L&H also has released freeware voices which are no better than the Microsoft voices. The best voices are the exceptional payware Natural Voices by AT&T. However unnatural sounding, however, the free Microsoft voices are quite usable. A good source of information on various SAPI voices can be found at http://www.bytecool.com/voices.htm.
Using the same segment of a full checklist, four audio samples were created using four of these voices. They are all actual output from the LWA audio checklist function. The audio samples are in .mp3 format and range between 328kB and 434kB.
The checklist segment used in all four sound samples is as follows:
3=Taxi Lights On 4=Nose Wheel Steering On 5=V 1 & V r Speed Bugs at 80 knots & 95 knots 6=Anti-Skid Actavate 7=Confirm warning lights are Off 8=Taxi [Section05] title=Hold Short 1=Fans and Bleeds Off 2=Bleed Regulator to Min 3=Ignition Switches 1 &, 2 to Manual 4=Anti-Collision Light to White 5=Taxi Lights Off
The full checklist text, from which this segment was taken, is contained in Fanda