A Holiday Gift Idea from Voxeo

I’ve been exploring less expensive Android gadgetry lately in my search for a capable but not overly glitzy e-book reader. My experience with Velocity Micro’s Cruz Reader, which I have previously documented, was not a positive one. I’ve now turned my attention to a Rockchip-powered Android tablet from Yixin, a Chinese electronics and toy manufacturer. I’m hoping to have one in my possession shortly.

The gadget gift giving season is upon us. And no doubt in the coming weeks many Android tablets will be wrapped up and adorned with ribbons and bows. But are there other creative ideas out there, possibly free, that could put a smile on a young child’s face?

I don’t normally turn to Voxeo in these matters, but I came across a neat suggestion in their blog for turning their Tropo multi-media development environment into a joy machine.

I’ve used the immensely powerful Tropo for my own projects (see  below) to craft text-to-speech and voice recognition apps. Voxeo’s Toddler Amusement Line, which is just a few lines of Python, merely repeats the “word” hello several times after pausing a few seconds.  It was inspired by a well known behavioral pattern found in small children: they like to make pretend phone calls.

All the information to set up the Toddler Line is explained in Dan York’s post. My only tweak to make the experience funner would be to randomize the different voices that are available with Tropo.

To turn this into a gift, I’d simply take a spare cell phone, set up a speed dial for the Voxeo number, and then wrap it up in festive holiday paper.

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