HanVOICE Extends Reach To Mainland China Government Websites

(Hong Kong, 10 November 2008) With gradually addressing the needs for the blinds, visually impaired and elderly to listen from the web, the web-to-speech HanVOICE technology developed by KanHan Technologies Limited has assisted the ChengDu City Government to boast the first speech version in China's e-government following the foot step of China Disabled Person's Federation (CDPF) http://www.cdpf.org.cn. The speech section automatically translates live Chinese text into Putonghua speech using human sounding text-to-speech technology. No special software required, users can navigate the voice website. The new voice-based web section of the ChengDu City Government aims to build a digital inclusive society especially for the visually impaired, elderly and cognitive dysfunctional persons.

HanVOICE is a locally developed technology partially funded by Government's SERAP funding scheme and has won various awards for its innovation in bridging the digital divide. The best known ones were the China nomination to compete in United Nation's World Summit Award in 2005 and the Asia Pacific APICTA award in 2004.

More than a web technology, the HanPHONE telephony interface turns a website into an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). Since 2003, many government departments and associations have adopted HanVOICE/HanPHONE integrated technology for IVRS applications which include:

  • Hong Kong Society for the Blind - digital library system (done in 2005) & email to voice (done in 2008)
  • Hong Kong Post - Leave Balance Enquiry
  • Hospital Authority - Outpatient Booking System (over 500 telephone lines)
  • Pamela Yonde Nethersole Hospital - Outpatient Booking System
  • Housing Authority - Rent Enquiry System for public housing estates
  • Leisure & Cultural Services Department - Main enquiry hotline line
  • Central & Regional Libraries - Main enquiry hotline
  • Labor Department - Employee Compensation Hotline
  • Social Welfare Department - Main service hotline
  • Census & Statistics Department - Quarterly Survey of Employment and Vacancies
  • Transport Department - Traffic Condition Enquiry
  • Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance - Main enquiry hotline
  • HKU Space - self-development for various IVR applications
  • University of Science & Technology - self development for various IVR applications
  • Chinese University - Student Fees Enquiry
Looking forward, 2009 will see more government departments in Mainland China intend to make voice enabling technology a nation-wide web access policy. Users can now "hear" from the web content without information boundaries using a standard web browser or via telephone.