Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Nihon Unisys, Ltd.
Voyager Japan, Inc.
DNP, Nihon Unisys and Voyager to License Cloud-Based E-Library Service that Includes Text-to-Speech Function to Japan Digital Library Service
The Dai Nippon Printing Group (DNP Group), Nihon Unisys, Ltd. (Nihon Unisys) and Voyager Japan, Inc. (Voyager Japan) will, from November 2016, license a cloud-based E-Library Service, developed by DNP Group and Nihon Unisys with the cooperation of Voyager to LibrariE, the E-Library Service operated by Japan Digital Library Service Co., Ltd. (JDLS).
This newly developed service offers E-library systems available to computers, smart phones and tablet terminals in a cloud environment that includes a text-to-speech (TTS) function targeting the visually impaired. The addition of the TTS function that can be adjusted for speed and volume is intended to boost user-convenience.
At present, we are seeing an expansion in E-library lending services at Japan’s municipal libraries. Apart from allowing users, who might otherwise find it difficult to directly visit bricks and mortar libraries, to access services on a 24 hour basis, by adding the TTS function, it is now also possible to supply the visually impaired and the elderly with failing vision the opportunity to enjoy books.
DNP has operated a cloud-based digital library service since 2013, in conjunction with the DNP Group companies TRC Library Service Inc. and Maruzen-Yushodo Company, Limited. When combined with public and university libraries, as of October 2016 this service is now used by approximately 50 local authorities and universities. With the cooperation of Voyager Japan, the TTS function has been added from May 2016, allowing the partners to provide an environment in which the visually impaired can read independently.
JDLS operates LibrariE, a digital library service that supports the establishment and promotes the use of E-libraries. The service includes the provision of highly popular contents to consumers, such as new releases and best sellers, while also limiting viewing frequency and usage periods in the interest of copyright holders. In this latest development, DNP will customize its cloud-based E-library service in line with LibrariE specifications, and provide the new service under license.
DNP and JDLS entered into a capital alliance as of October 2016. JDLS is supplied with E-library contents by numerous domestic publishing houses including Kadokawa Corporation, and Kodansha Ltd. Looking ahead, these companies will deepen their relationships with DNP and JDLS to accelerate the penetration of E-library services to public and university libraries.
[Cloud-Based E-Library Service]
- The new service provides an E-library system facilitating the search, lending, viewing and return of e-books through the internet using computers, smart phones and tablet terminals, in a cloud-based format.
- The new service can be used with a broad array of delivery formats, including Windows or Mac OS driven personal computers, Android or iOS integrated smart phones and tablet terminals, allowing users to access the E-library service from their standard electronic equipment. And as there is no need to install dedicated applications and software, the new service can be approached in an easy manner.
- A text edition site integrating the TTS function will also be provided, allowing the visually impaired and children still learning Chinese characters to enjoy the reading experience.
- In this latest development, a number of functions have been added to the text edition site viewer further enhancing user convenience. These include detailed page-based forward and rewind functions, functions for paging ahead or back while the TTS function is in operation, bookmark functions, and functions for adjusting the TTS speed and volume.
- The web site has been designed in line with Japanese Industrial Standard JIS X 8341-3 “Guidelines for Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities – Information and Communications Equipment, Software and Services – Part 3: Web Content.” And the web site includes functions to alter text size, color and background color.
- Approximately 40,000 titles licensed by publishers are available for use as e-books, as of October 2016, mainly in the fields of literature, business, language learning and specialists. And looking ahead, the partners will enhance the lineup by adding new titles and fiction targeting young adults; an area in which JDLS has strengths.
- It will also be possible to digitize local materials held by libraries throughout Japan and PR publications from local authorities, then loan them out through the E-library service. The DNP Group will respond to requests for such digitization tasks.
The DNP Group, Nihon Unisys and Voyager Japan will enhance E-library service functions in line with the desires of consumers and libraries. The partners aim for adoptions by 200 local authorities and total sales of 3.0 billion yen by FY 2018.