Kolibre publishes open source software for talking publications

Press release 18th October 2012

Result of the development of the Pratsam system since 2003
Target group is individuals with print disabilities

Kolibre, a Finnish non-profit association founded in the spring of 2012, has published the first components for a system that makes it possible to produce, distribute and consume digital publications using the Internet in an effective manner. More software will be published in the future and the open model makes it possible to use the software components for any purpose, also internationally.

Previous software versions have been developed under the auspices of the Pratsam project since 2003, primarily through the financial support of Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY). Thanks to the Pratsam system, over 2000 Finns with print disabilities can easily access talking publications, also with an easy-to-use mobile player. The project has developed support for speech synthesis, which enables cost-effective production of greater numbers of talking publications with natural and human speech. The software being published supports Daisy, the international standard for talking publications and Daisy Online, the international standard for the transmission of talking publications using the Internet.

Kolibre was established by the Pratsam project partners – Norra Österbottens svenska synskadade rf (NÖSS), the Federation of Swedish Speaking Visually Impaired in Finland (FSVIF) and Pratsam Ab – with the purpose to publish the results of the project openly to all and to coordinate future cooperation. The vision for the Kolibre ecosystem is that all individuals should have access to talking publications with a natural voice, regardless of their location, through a customized receiver: whether a smartphone, computer, e-reader or customized player for the visually impaired.

The Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired (FFVI), the Finnish state-owned special library Celia and the Finnish Centre for Open Systems and Solutions – COSS are part of Kolibre’s cooperative network. The software is published under an open source license and allows all interested parties to use and develop the system for their own needs. Publication occurs in accordance with best practices within open source code publication.

For more information please contact:
Martin von Willebrand, Kolibre Chairman, tel. +358 40 770 1818
Daniel Ainasoja, Acting Director, tel. +358 50 527 4174

Kolibre: kolibre.org
Distribution: github.com/kolibre