[Athen] New Amazon Kindle released

Pratik Patel pratikp1 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 9 11:32:00 PST 2009

The speech engine used by Kindle 2 appears to be Nuance' voices. With the
device of that size, I would estimate these voices to be the Nuance
vocalizer voices with a small footprint. These are the same voices used by
the Victor Stream and the Plextalk Pocket.

From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Sean Keegan
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 1:38 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network; Alternate Media
Subject: [Athen] New Amazon Kindle released

Just an FYI - Amazon has released the new version of the Kindle. More
information is available at the Amazon site (http://tinyurl.com/afddgh) as
well as at Engadget (http://tinyurl.com/btzncn). Some improvements that
were interesting were:

- Adjustable Text Size
Font size is adjustable for up to six different settings. No word on
whether or not you can change the font itself, but at least the size is
(somewhat) adjustable.

- Read To Me feature
The Kindle 2 now has text-to-speech capability with the option of either a
male or female voice. No word as to what speech engine or how the voices
sound, so it will be interesting to see what has been implemented. Note -
the addition of text-to-speech is for the content text and does not seem to
extend to system menus, etc.

- Built in dictionary
Dictionary is The New Oxford American Dictionary and allows the user to
navigate to any word on the page and the dictionary will show the
information at the bottom of the screen.

- Bookmarks and Annotations
Users can specify a bookmark on a page to return to the specific page later
as well as add annotations to the page using the keyboard (annotations can
be exported). You can also highlight content as well. It is not clear if
you can highlight page content and export that along with your notes.

While it does support a number of different file formats (MS Word, HTML,
PDF, etc.) it is a bit convoluted to get these files onto the device. Would
also be nice if it supported DAISY or at least ePub. In any case, it
appears as if it has a few more improvements but will be interesting to see
how it actually functions in the real world (i.e., with students).

Take care,

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