What Is Toshiba Speech System?
By Josh Fredman
Computer manufacturers try to add value to their systems by offering a variety of pre-installed or free-to-download software to customers who buy their machines. One such program is the Toshiba Speech System, produced by Toshiba for its various computing devices. The Toshiba Speech System serves two main functions. First, it allows you to use voice commands through your microphone to run and navigate various Windows applications, which is helpful for hands-free computing. Second, it also has the ability to recognize text and speak it out loud, which has a variety of uses and can be particularly helpful to the visually-impaired.
Versions and Availability
You can run the Toshiba Speech System on any Toshiba device that runs Windows 7, although for full functionality you will need a device with a microphone. The Windows 7 version also works on Windows 8, so if you upgrade your operating system you can leave the Toshiba Speech System alone and it will still be there. There are also older versions for Windows XP and Windows Vista. If you don't have the Toshiba Speech System pre-installed, you can download it for free on Toshiba's support website.
The Toshiba Speech System consists of two programs: Voice Commands and Web Speak. To launch either, look in "All Programs" for the "Toshiba" folder. Click on that, then click on the "Speech System" folder. From there, launch the program of your choice. When you launch Voice Commands, you'll be guided through a process to configure your microphone and introduced to the Windows commands available to you. When you launch Web Speak, the Toshiba Speech System launches a small player. You can opt to have Web Speak read an entire page to you aloud, or you can select specific text and click the "ABC Play" button to have Web Speak only read the selection.
Josh Fredman is a freelance pen-for-hire and Web developer living in Seattle. He attended the University of Washington, studying engineering, and worked in logistics, health care and newspapers before deciding to go to work for himself.