International Journal of Speech Technology

NOVeLLA: A multi-modal electronic-book reader with visual and auditory interfaces

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While significant growth in the popularity of electronic books seems likely over the next few years, current systems and near-term proposals from major vendors have shown little foresight in leveraging the equally inevitable increase in processing power available to such systems. In this note we describe a prototype electronic-book reader, NOVeLLA, whose design takes as its starting point the assumption that computing power equivalent to today's high-end desktop systems will be available in hand-held formats within just a few years. It proposes interesting ways in which that power might be utilized, in particular by delivering a powerful speech-based user interface. A secondary goal of the project was to implement the system using off-the-shelf software technologies and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) available freely or cheaply today, testing whether those technologies and related standards were adequate to the task. Finally, NOVeLLA is the first generally available reader compatible with the unencoded version of the new Open Ebook Document Structure.