KPMG Crimsonwing making good progress on development of first Maltese speech synthesiser

KPMG Crimsonwing has been awarded the tender to develop the Maltese Text to Speech Synthesiser by the Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA) in August 2010. Since then, KPMG Crimsonwing has been working on the solution for this unique Synthesiser and is just bringing it to perfection until its release date in 2012, when it will be freely available for download.

The project is co-financed (85%) by the EU’s ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), and national Maltese funds (15%). It is part of the Operational Programme I – Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life – which is exactly what KPMG Crimsonwing is aiming for.

The Speech Synthesiser will have three different voices – a male, female and a child voice. The quality of the synthesised speech is highly dependent on the corpus of recorded speech used to create the diphone database. This is why it is recorded in a professional studio to ensure best quality of sound (44 KHz 16bit sound quality). A large database of recordings is required for sufficiently natural-sounding speech, spanning over many hours.

The Synthesiser will be Windows SAPI compliant (Speech Application Programming Interface) and inter-operable with any application that is SAPI compliant (e.g. Window-Eyes Screen Reader, etc).

“KPMG Crimsonwing is very proud to be associated with the FITA for the development of a Maltese Speech Engine. Whilst the technology exists for a number of languages, this is a first for Maltese! The application of this tool is widespread and will facilitate use of ICT products or services to illiterate persons and people with vision, dyslexia or cognitive difficulties. The project is particularly technically challenging. However, the team has made good progress and is well on track with the release of the 2nd prototype.” said Carmel Gafa, KPMG Crimsonwing’s Head of Technology.

The KPMG Crimsonwing R&D team has presented this at GhILM’s third International Conference on Maltese Linguistics on the 9th April 2011, presenting the findings and developments to date for KPMG Crimsonwing’s Speech Synthesiser.

For more information, you can request our PowerPoint presentation on the Speech Synthesiser and also have a look at our main page for the Speech Synthesiser. Operational Programme I – Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life Project part-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Co-financing rate: 85% EU Funds; 15% National Funds Investing in your future


About KPMG Crimsonwing

KPMG Crimsonwing is an international business & IT solutions provider that supports organisations in business transformations enabled by technology. Our work focuses on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce and IT integration. Using our business and IT expertise we can help automate and transform organisations with the established business technology solutions of Microsoft, Intershop and Magento and a wide range of professional services.

KPMG Crimsonwing consists of more than 350 skilled employees, offers 24/7 support services and has a near-shore centre in Malta. Together with KPMG’s global network of member firms clients can benefit from a broad professional palette of business services, enabled by technology.