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August 26, 2004

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Http://www.ub.uni-dortmund.de/listen/inetbib/msg25374.html. describes an interesting experiment in library accessibility. The library web page at the Hamburg, Germany library has become the first library in Germany to use ReadSpeaker technology (from Sweden. See http://www.readspeaker.com) to read pages aloud. You can listen to events, news, their service charges, and their privacy policy. You just open one of those pages, and then click on the loudspeaker icon. A remarkably human-sounding voice starts reading the page.

This is being done to make the web more accessible to people with disabilities, but the technology could lead in lots of other interesting directions.

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