NextUp Talker is a specialized speech product from NextUp.com. For NextUp.com's general consumer products, please visit
NextUp Talker Benefits:|
- Specifically designed for use in conversation
- More pleasant conversations using latest generation, high-quality, Natural
- Easy use with either mouse or keyboard.
- Smooth conversation flow with less delays due to typing by using
predefined, often used phrases and user created abbreviations.
- Adapts to your style and speed with options to speak each word as typed,
each sentence, each paragraph, or on demand.
- Ability to insert actual sound files along with speech. These can
help make kids more comfortable talking with an adult using a computer.
Our Goal with NextUp Talker |
Over the past 5 years, we have developed the world's most popular Text To
Speech program, called TextAloud. It is a general consumer product used
for listening to email, web pages, and documents. During that time we've
had thousands of users who have lost their voice and have trouble communicating
with others. TextAloud and other PC based programs have never worked very
well as conversation tools, because they simply aren't designed in that way.
So until now, the best option has been to use dedicated hardware devices for
voice replacement. These can cost up to $3000 and typically have very
mechanical sounding voices. Our goal with the release of NextUp Talker is to
use all of the advances in computer based voices and what we've learned from our
customers to offer an affordable product for people who have either temporarily
or permanently lost their voice.
Designing for Conversation
One problem with using computers for conversation is the delay during entry
of messages. We've attempted several things to help with this:
let's you create an unlimited number of phrases you often use.
These are arranged in a multi-level menu system. So, for example, you
might have a menu of phrases you typically use with the telephone. You
might have a phrases named "Greeting" that has the text
"Hi. This is John. I'm using a computer to talk with you, so
please be patient as I type my responses. If you don't understand the
voice or need me to repeat something, just let me know".
So, when you answer the phone, you could access that phrase quickly and
have it spoken without typing it. Phrases can also have parameters
within them, for cases where you need to customize the phrase. For
example, you may have a phrase named "How Are You" that has the text
"Hi %name%. How are you today"
When you choose this phrase, NextUp Talker will prompt you for what you want to
say for %name% then speak the phrase. So you access the "How Are You"
phrase, NextUp Talker will popup a window asking you for the name, you type in
"Betty", then NextUp Talker will speak "Hi Betty, How are you?"
Predefined phrases can be quickly accessed during conversations by
- Double-clicking the phrase on the left side of the program
- Using shortcut key combinations you define
- From a right-click popup menu in the typing area
- From the Insert Menu.
Abbreviations and ShortHand
includes an Abbreviations and ShortHand editor. With this,
you can define short strings to represent longer phrases or sentences.
So for example, if you frequently say something like "Could you bring me
something to drink please", you could define an abbreviation of "gdrink" to be
that full string. Then, when typing text into NextUp Talker, if you simply
type "gdrink" the program will speak "Could you bring me something to drink
please?". Over time as you get used to using the program, you'll develop
your own version of shorthand that will speed up your typing.
Inserting Sound Files
can also mix in actual sound files into speech. You can
insert a link to a sound file using the insert menu. For some users who
have warning before losing their voice, such as is the case often with
surgery, you can use your computer to record various sound files saying things
like "I love you", or answering the phone. These recordings can then be
intermixed with text to speech. Another neat use is inserting sound
effects. There are a huge number of free sound files on the internet.
A common use for these might be to include some funny sound effects with your
speech. This is especially helpful when speaking with children.
The funny sounds often help children become more comfortable when talking with
someone who has to use a computer.
Access for those with physical limitations
Especially for those with ALS who have lost their voice, they face the
additional challenge of losing muscle control and having difficulty fully using
a mouse and keyboard. We've attempted to design NextUp Talker to work well
with either a mouse or keyboard, and hopefully work with "virtual keyboards".
We haven't done a lot of testing in these areas yet, so we would appreciate any
and all feedback to help us continue to improve.
Natural Sounding Voices
A computer will never replace the voice you've lost. However, in
recent years, computer voices have become more and more human like.
Choosing one or more computer voices that you like and that you feel comfortable
with is important. This will become YOUR voice to friends and family.
We sell a variety of optional voices for use with NextUp Talker :
Trying NextUp Talker |
You can try a 30 day trial version of NextUp Talker at
Our Download Page.
Please note that in the trial version, only the older Microsoft voices are
available. Because of licensing restrictions, we aren't able to include
the better sounding voices in the demo version. Those are available only
with purchase. The older voices in the trial version are mechanical
sounding, but the trial will at least give you a chance to play with NextUp
Talker and start to learn how to use it and its power features to help you.
NextUp Talker works on All Windows Systems.
Minimum system requirements when used with AT&T or Acapela voices are a 300 Mhz Processor w/
256mb RAM and 500MB Free Disk Space (16khz versions require 1GB Free Disk
When used with Microsoft Voices, 128mb RAM is adequate.
Purchasing NextUp Talker
You can get more details on pricing and purchase NextUp Talker on
Our Purchase Page.
We hope that you'll agree that compared to other options available, NextUp
an amazing bargain and that it can change your life. We'd love to be able
to simply give this product to everyone in need, but we also recognize that in
order to continue to improve it and continue to license great voice technology,
we must make money selling the product. But we will strive to always make
it affordable, and if you have concerns over the cost, please let us know.
you have any problems, questions, or suggestions, please email us at