1 October 2023
To Cerence, INC. Hims, INC. HIMS International: Please add the Cerence owned ETI-Eloquence Text to Speech engine to the Hims Sense Player and Hims Sense Player OCR media players.

We, the undersigned, are writing to ask that Cerence INC. and Hims Inc. add the ETI-Eloquence Text to Speech engine to the Hims Sense Player and Hims Sense Player OCR.

The Sense Player is a media player and book reader made for blind and visually impaired individuals as well as those who may not be able to read printed material. It has no screen and is controlled by various buttons such as arrow keys and a telephone style keypad.

It offers access to such content as internet radio stations, podcasts, documents and eBooks. While many books are available today as audio recordings, many are also available as eBooks. These eBooks are read by an electronic TTS (Text to Speech) voice.

The Sense Player includes Cerence (formally Nuance) Vocalizer Text to Speech voices. As the ETI-Eloquence Text to Speech engine is also owned by Cerence, we ask that Hims and Cerence work together to license and add the ETI-Eloquence Text to Speech engine to the Sense Player.

While modern Text to Speech voices are pleasant and human sounding, blind and visually impaired individuals have enjoyed using the more robotic ETI-Eloquence voices to read electronic documents for over 20 years. Having these voices on a portable media device would be a benefit to users for a myriad of reasons. Some of these reasons include:

*Consistent pronunciation. The ETI-Eloquence voices are able to pronounce sentences without unnatural pauses between words and phrases. They also have easy to understand inflection, including the ability to differentiate between punctuation such as question marks and exclamation points using pitch.

*Easy to understand at fast speaking rates. The ETI-Eloquence voices are able to be understood when set to a very fast speed. This would allow individuals to process information more quickly using the speed of their choosing.

*Helpful for those with hearing loss. The ETI-Eloquence voice features mentioned above as well as their slightly robotic sound are very useable for individuals with hearing loss. In some circumstances, they are the only TTS voices these users are able to consistently understand. These voices would allow those with hearing loss to enjoy many types of content on a portable device with physical controls. They would also extend the customer base for the Sense Player.

*Significant increase in device responsiveness. The ETI-Eloquence voices take up very little memory and resources when being used on a portable device. They would significantly increase the responsiveness of the Sense Player, from interface navigation to book navigation to using third party Android applications.

*User preference. Users of a media consuming device should have as many options of TTS voices from which to choose as possible. Allowing both Vocalizer and ETI-Eloquence voices would allow users to select the option that is most comfortable for them. They may choose Vocalizer for certain content such as an educational book or document. They may instead choose ETI-Eloquence when scanning content with OCR or while reading for pleasure. Allowing these choices will let users truly customize their Sense Player voice experience for any situation they may encounter.

We submit that adding the ETI-Eloquence Text to Speech Engine to the Sense Player would not only be beneficial to users but a good business decision for Cerence and Hims as well. Since ETI-Eloquence is very popular among the blind community, it could greatly increase sales and revenue throughout the world if marketed as a selling point of the Sense Player. This is something that Sense Player competitors would not be able to offer to their customers, making your products even more preferable to blind and visually impaired individuals.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Update 28 November 2023



I would like to sincerely thank everyone who signed this open letter regarding adding ETI-Eloquence to the Hims Sense Player and Sense Player OCR.

The letter has made it’s way to Hims and I have received a response.

Unfortunately they will not include ETI-Eloquence on the player for now do to licensing costs.

All is not lost however.

The player has the ability to use third party Text to Speech engines/voices in third party applications that require them. This may include such things as speaking rewind and fast-forward controls in a book reading app. Since the player is not Google certified, you cannot install TTS engines from the Google Play Store but you can install them manually. Hims provides some in their own app list such as eSpeak and RH Voice. Googles own TTS voices (English only) work great as well.

If Hims would allow these engines/voices to be used in the player interface, users would have many other voices to select from alongside vocalizer when reading documents and other electronic content.

If you would like this feature to be added, please leave Hims feedback and let them know. You can contact them through their US support Email address on their US website:


You can also contact them through their international website:


Thank you again,

Jay Pellis

97 verified
  1. Jarrod Jicha, Accessibility specialist, Holt
  2. Richard Wells, Pastor, Computer Consultant, Pittsburg
  3. Jean Pellis, Retired teacher, Archbald
  4. Rob Gorman, Retired, Archbald PA
  5. Pam Byklum, retired teacher, Rochester MN
  6. Kathy Wisehart, Therapist, Lewistown
  7. Jane Ebersole, Retired nurse, Hummelstown, PA
  8. Sarah Pellis
  9. Gina Mullen, Archbald
  10. Martha Dedricks, psychologist, Melbourne FL
  11. Gretchen Maune, Accessibility resources coordinator, Columbia
  12. Chol Kim, Retired, Las Vegas
  13. Kelly Cowley, Nurse, Archbald
  14. Deanna Leimbach, Network Engineer, Columbia
  15. Catherine Refice, Therapist, Clarks Summit
  16. Patricia Adams, Sr Customer Service Rep, Chillicothe
  17. Allison Meloy, Oxford
  18. john
  19. dennis Long, na
  20. Soufiane, trainee IT Technician, Lille
  21. Joshua Hendrickson, unemployed, Byron
  22. Albert, Assistive Technology supplier and trainer, Blind Tech Wizard (Pty) Limited, Durban
  23. Mo Iqbal, Lincoln, UK
  24. Tiffany Fagnani, RN, Mechanicsburg
  25. Kristin Patchell, Counselor
  26. Christine Duvendack, Hospital Administrator, Kansas State University, Manhattan
  27. Ray Campbell, Senior Accessibility Analyst, Springfield, IL US
  28. Donald Risavy, Daytona Beach
  29. Lynn I, retired
  30. Brandon Tyson
  31. Jay Pellis, Assistive technology instructor, Columbia, MO
  32. Jesse mahtani, Pet Care, Phoenixville
  33. Violet, Toronto
  34. gary melconian, consulting, gmcg, burbank
  35. CRYSTAL BELL, csr, dallas
  36. David Goldfield, Product Specialist
  37. Taron Taylor, Melbourne
  38. Brian Hovmand Olesen, Denmark, Private, Aalborg
  39. Jaime Palmiter, Management Assistant
  40. April Krzak, Teacher, Archbald
  41. Erin Moskel, Social Worker- Director of Sales and Marketing, Peckville
  42. Angie Gutshall
  43. Tyler Chambliss, audio engineer
  44. Christina Vining, San Antonio
  45. Karin Mitchell, Counselor, TWC, San Antonio
  46. Theresa eads, Youth/children ministry director, First united Methodist church, Kirksville
  47. Teresa Chambers, Massage Therapist, Mo. Counsel of the Blind, Warrensburg
  48. Stephanie Lechtenberg, Retired, New Tazewell
  49. Mary Alice Raider, Teacher, None, Archbald
  50. Robbie Martin, General mgr, Mesko Glass & Mirror, Jessup
  51. Jennifer Munley, Teacher, Peckville
  52. Nicole shalkowski, Teacher, Pocono Mountain School District, Jessup
  53. Kelly Boyd, Disabled, I have Usher’s Syndrome, Old Orchard Beach
  54. Connie Sutter, Program Manager, Department of Social Services, Columbia
  55. Brian Hartgen, Co-Director, Hartgen Consultancy, South Wales
  56. Gary Wunder, Editor of the Braille Monitor, Columbia
  57. Tara McMullen, Nurse, Scranton
  58. Susan Lee, Disabled, Bear Creek Twp
  59. Mandy Fisher, Systems Analyst, Peckville
  60. Scott Davert, Program Coordinator, Technology Research and Innovation Center, Port Washington NY
  61. Byron Sykes, unemployed, Louisville
  62. Sharon Decarli, Accountant, Anthony A DeCarli III DMD, Archbald
  63. David Griffith, Retired, Retired, Plymouth
  64. Angela Dillon, Chillicothe
  65. James Dean, None, None, Springfield
  66. Crystal Johnson
  67. Russell Solowoniuk, Retired, Edmonton
  68. Scotty Deavers, Administrator, BIT, Pleasant Hill
  69. Wesley Martin, Student, Pennsylvania Braille-Printing Company, Mifflinburg
  70. Mike Keithley, retired, Silicon Valley Council of the blind, Mountain View
  71. Shane Lowe, Management Development Associate, Louisville
  72. Ash Hamilton, Library officer, Glasgow Libraries, Glasgow
  73. Ali Kazi, Birmingham
  74. Jack Falejczyk
  75. Jim Denham, Access Technology Specialist, Madison, Wisconsin
  76. Daniel Semro
  77. Aaron John Dizon, Milan, Italy
  78. Martin Sutton, Rugeley
  79. Russell Carrick, Retired, None, Grand Junction
  80. Serena, Brisbane
  81. Lachlan Thomas, Melbourne Australia
  82. Bryn
  83. arnaud de bonald, jobless, none, Paris
  84. Brandon Cole, Professional Accessibility Consultant, Brandon Cole Consulting, Columbus
  85. Dallas Sagan, Henderson
  86. Mark Opatow, Miami Beach
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