INFORMATION: A computer module which can be attached to passenger information systems to give text-to-speech capabilities in an extensive range of languages is offered by US firm TextSpeak.

The devices are intended for installation wherever a multi-language capability is required, and can play preset messages or real-time messages generated by entering text.

Each chip offers a range of languages and regional variants, including European and American versions of English, French, Portuguese and Spanish as well as Russian, Turkish, Finnish, Arabic and Chinese, avoiding the need to licence each individual data set.

The equipment can also be instructed to cope with non-intuitive pronunciations that may be found in place names.