US ATM manufacturer Diebold is teaming with Massachusetts-based ScanSoft to provide voice-enabled cash machines to financial firms across the US.
Under the deal, Diebold will add the RealSpeak ScanSoft's text-to-speech (TTS) technology to its Opteva ATMs.
The technology guides visually impaired users through transactions with an easy to-understand, natural-sounding voice. The system also alerts ATM users to any errors that may have occurred during the transaction. By adding the ScanSoft system to its Agilis ATM software, Diebold says TTS capabilities can be provided in up to six languages on a single unit.
Danny O'Brien, senior vice president of global product marketing for Diebold, comments: "This premium voice engine is an important part of our solutions, and it will help us exceed accessibility requirements. Speech brings an important human element to our ATMs."
Diebold says while many banks provide Braille features on ATMs, only nine per cent of the blind population in the US actively reads Braille. Current government guidelines require speech output to enhance efforts to make ATMs more accessible for people with visual impairments.