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Colbass – the new Israeli software for listening to written content on websites

In a world full of knowledge, technologies and abundance, when countless companies compete for our attention every minute and try to promote it for the sake of selling or transferring information, the appeal is made through as many senses as possible. The ability to allow ourselves in 2022 to choose whether we want to read an article or listen to it seems almost self-evident, but the truth is that this is a fairly new development.

According to Roee Cohen, 29 years old from Haifa, who is employed by one of the largest software companies in Israel and worked in his free time to develop such software that is currently being launched for private and commercial use, “It turned out that in the last month, along with the launch of Colbass – my software, several other programs were released on behalf of different companies and as in everything in the technological field , there is competition and there are differences between the various programs”.

What does the software you developed enable?

Our software automatically adds an audio player above each article on the website that reads the article, which helps and facilitates the consumption of the site’s content among the audience of users.

There is also the option of reading several relevant articles in sequence according to popularity, so that the website will become a radio station – a function that is very suitable for drivers and passengers on the road, or for people whose ears are free to hear but their eyes are not free to read or cannot for physiological or technical reasons. From the point of view of the website owners themselves, the possibility of listening to articles significantly increases the time users stay on the website and their consumption of content, which raises their ranking on Google and is very important for website owners.”

And how can the software be embedded on the website?

The implementation process is very short, takes a few minutes. You can log in as a private user and you can type the text and the text is converted to an MP3 file and you can embed the software on the website that will allow all users to hear any article they want.

Anyone can also purchase it for personal use?

Yes absolutely, there is an option to purchase the software for personal use, and that’s how I really got started, there is a place on the website where you can paste your text in any language, in the second step you have the option of choosing a voice (male, female, voice pitch, etc.) and the third step is clicking on the audio creation and within a few seconds, a MP3 file is downloaded and can be saved on the computer and listened to at any time. The price of this service can be a one-time payment of $59 or an annual subscription at a monthly cost of $9 – the subscription can be canceled at any time.

And then I decided to improve the automation process and implement the software on the websites. The service for website owners is priced differently – and depends on the amount of content and the frequency of uploading the articles and content on the website.

– What does it actually do? How does it work?

The software automatically transfers the text to the COLBASS system, where the text is processed according to semantic and contextual analysis besides of spelling rules and then we create an audio file adapted to the text.

-How did you come to develop the software?

“I started studying computer science in high school, where I first became familiar with the field and knew that I would like to study more in my life. After a degree in computer science, I began working in software development in the high-tech industry, and with the advancement of technology, an option has arisen in which it is possible to consume the website’s contents in another way. The software offers an audio player It can be embedded in any website articles, in different languages, that reads the text on the website automatically.

Usually, news sites, blogs and articles are interested in the software and together we embed the player in the various articles on the website. The implementation process takes a few minutes.

Initially, the player is used to improves the issue of accessibility, for that population with a visual impairment, but over time we saw that the other population groups are also interested in the tool out of convenience and consumption of the website’s content through hearing.

-How long did it take?

We have been working on the software for a year and a half and there are more improvements that we plan to implement in the system

Not just for the visually impaired

Cohen emphasizes that the need to hear written content is not exclusive to people with visual impairments but “there are population groups that are not defined as visually impaired and therefore do not have the special tools that the blind people have. At COLBASS we provide a solution for every person, whether they have difficulty reading or not, to consume the content of the website through hearing without any need for special tools. By entering the website he has the option to access the content in this way.”

One of the first websites where we implemented the software is the “Shavvim“, which is a website that regularly publishes the stories of women with special needs, provides the community with relevant news information, assists community members in solving problems and injustices, and works to influence the policy of decision makers in the areas relevant to community members.

“The implementation of the plugin on the website allows anyone who wants to be exposed to the content to do so at any moment and to choose how to consume it – by reading or listening”. Link to the website

And if that's not positive enough already, then we also have a unique benefit. By typing the positive coupon code according to the selected route, you will receive a full refund either for the first month in an annual route or $10 in a one-time route.
From this purchase, a percentage will also be transferred to the site for the continuation of the positive activity.

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