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NATURAL MICROSYSTEMS ANNOUNCES TEXT-TO-SPEECH AVAILABILITY AT VOICE FALL '92

 NATICK, Mass., Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- Natural MicroSystems announced the availability of high quality, low-cost text-to-speech processing for its VBX voice boards last week at Voice Fall '92 in Atlanta (Nov. 11-13). Through an agreement with First Byte, Natural MicroSystems now offers ProVoice, a software product that accepts ordinary English text and translates the text into audible speech over the VBX system. Because of ProVoice's innovative speech generation technique, First Byte has the best price~performance speech synthesis available. High-quality synthesized speech is combined with minimal system hardware requirements thereby offering quality solutions for third-party developers.
 "Even though many voice processing applications have text-to-speech requirements, historically, the costs associated with its implementation has been prohibitive for many developers. Now, given the exceptional price and performance of First Byte's ProVoice, we believe text-to- speech will become much more prevalent," said David Lavi, NMS president.
 The ProVoice Developers Kit costs $1,195 and is available from Natural MicroSystems for delivery within 30 days of order. The price per port, per text-to-speech process run time is $200. At Voice Fall '92, NMS announced a special show price of $695 for the developer's kit and $100 per run time.
 This offer is still available, but only on orders to be delivered before Jan. 31, 1993.
 Included in the comprehensive manual are installations instructions, extensive sample programs, and many creative ideas for use. Programmers are provided with all of the necessary tools and examples to easily manipulate the ProVoice speech technology in their DOS or OS~2 applications. ProVoice is currently available in American English (male speaker). Other languages will be offered in 1993, such as German, French and Spanish.
 First Byte provides a speech synthesizer that accurately reproduces the entire spectral envelope (all formats and absorption bands) across all combinations of phomene-to-phomene transitions. Phomenes are the sounds produced by the human vocal tract. The ability to combine these features of natural speech is unique to First Byte's patented speech synthesis algorithms.
 ProVoice converts text-to-speech in two phases using a set of phonetic translation and pronunciation rules. First, the software analyzes and translates text into "sound descriptors," a phonetic language complete with pitch, duration and amplitude codes needed to produce stress patterns in phrases and sentences. Over 1,000 rules are used to analyze words, numbers and punctuation. The second phase converts the intermediate phonetic language into speech signals; algorithms drive distinct speech signals into smoothly-flowing, continuos clear speech.
 Natural MicroSystems Corporation, headquartered in Natick, Mass., is the worldwide leader in the development and marketing of standards- based, open architecture voice processing systems that combine computer and telecommunications technology. A pioneer in voice processing technology, Natural MicroSystems offers VBX(tm), an open architecture family of powerful multi-line voice applications development systems; MVIP(tm), an open architecture protocol for multi-vendor integration; and Watson(tm), a personal voice management system introduced in 1984.
 First Byte, located in Torrance, Calif., is a software development company dedicated to creating audio technologies and high-quality educational and productivity software for microcomputers. First Byte, incorporated in April 1982, has had a long-term commitment to better speech solutions within computer-based applications. The multi-media product focus will continue to create value-adding technologies for the computer industry.
 VBX, MVIP and Watson are trademarks of Natural MicroSystems Corporation. ProVoice is a trademark of First Byte.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: Michelle Scott of Natural MicroSystems, 508-650-1365; Richard Jacks of First Byte, 310-793-0610; or Maria Blaha Doyle of Rourke & Company, 617-267-0042, for Natural MicroSystems~


CO: Natural MicroSystems; First Byte ST: Massachusetts, California IN: CPR SU: PDT

TM -- NE011 -- 1777 11~17~92 11:03 EST
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Date:Nov 17, 1992
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