When we first got a look at the updated I.D. Mate Omni Bar code Reader from Invision America last year the new office pastime was to scan in just about anything to see if it had the info on the product right there in the on board database. "Guess Your Lunch" was a great deal of fun. Well it was until the I.D. Mate went on to spoil things by reading the Nutritional Value of what we were eating. Then things got very depressing very quickly. And I thought that it was kind of funny that the worse the food was for you the more likely you were to find it on board with all the nutritional contents read aloud for anyone to hear. So much for cheap TV dinners I guess. Tip: Never read anything that says Salisbury Steak if you ever want to eat again that day.
Another new tool we are all playing with is the web application located at spokentext.net. This app will take MS Word, PDF and PowerPoint files and convert them into speech. You can even have it converted into a small or large MP3 file which you can then download and use on MP3 players. The recognition engine has trouble with tables and PDFs that contain images. So you won't be throwing out your OCR program just yet. However if you travel this tool may be a lifesaver if you have to convert a file to a useable format in a pinch.
You must register on the site in order to use this tool. Find it and more info at the link below.