eSpeak Web Speech API Addon

Now that eSpeak runs pretty well in JS, it is time for a Web Speech API extension!

What is the Web Speech API? It gives any website access to speech synthesis (and recognition) functionality, Chrome and Safari already have this built-in. This extension adds speech synthesis support in Firefox, and adds eSpeak voices.

For the record, we had speech synthesis support in Gecko for about 2 years. It was introduced for accessibility needs in Firefox OS, now it is time to make sure it is supported on desktop as well.

Why an extension instead of built-in support? A few reasons:

  1. An addon will provide speech synthesis to Firefox now as we implement built-in platform-specific solutions for future releases.
  2. An addon will allow us to surface current bugs both in our Speech API implementation, and in the spec.
  3. We designed our speech synthesis implementation to be extensible with addons, this is a good proof of concept.
  4. People are passionate about eSpeak. Some people love it, some people don’t.

So now I will shut up, and let eSpeak do the talking:

eSpeak Web Speech API Addon

2 thoughts on “eSpeak Web Speech API Addon

  1. Caspy7 says:

    I installed the addon, now how do I make it work? I’m not seeing a context menu item or any additional buttons.
    Also, please integrate this with Firefox’s up and coming Reader View. I’m told it should be extendable with addons.
    Thanks!

    1. Eitan says:

      The addon simply enables the Web Speech API with eSpeak. It doesn’t provide any user interface aside from what the website provides. See the demo site above for how this works.

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