Moody synthesisers

A NEW COMPUTER voice synthesiser for people with speech disorders uses a rapid text facility that enables the users to conduct a near normal conversation and, more crucially, to alter. its speech mode to reflect their mood (Spectrum, No 233).

Developed by scientists at Dundee University in Scotland, the system can reflect anger, sadness, happiness, grief, disgust and fury, by allowing the operator to tap in the emotion wanted.

Scientists say they are only years away from developing a fully portable synthesised speech system - a computer system that fits into the pocket, with a speaker on the user's lapel and perhaps a screen menu built into a pair of spectacles.