A quick web TTS Engine

I thought it might be interesting to create a screen reader for content – in lieu of someone who needs it not having their own screenreader solution available. I have not gotten very far with it, but it has been a somewhat interesting exercise.

The current implementation is using the Samantha voice if found to be supported locally – but let’s be clear. It’s not the best sounding voice, but it’s the best built-in solution at the moment. Also – there should be an after paragraph delay spinner that displays. Currently a supported element is parsed for its paragraphs – and the engine steps through those one by one.

As a toy – it currently works. With a little more time, effort, and attention to detail – it could be somewhat useful in certain scenarios where accessibility is desired. The iOS application Airchat got me thinking about this type of thing and I wanted to make something happen.

Below is a very simple early demo of it.

Snake the source if you feel inclined or curious. It’s probably obnoxious to actually use – allow a user to use their screen reader software. But if they do not possess it, this could serve as the next best thing. Something better might be the ability to also put the page into a mode, and clicking on a paragraph would read it from the beginning.

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