High-tech AAC aids permit the storage and retrieval of electronic messages, with most allowing the user to communicate using speech output. Such devices are known as speech generating devices (SGD) or voice output communication aids (VOCA). A device's speech output may be digitized and/or synthesized: digitized systems play recorded words or phrases and are generally more intelligible while synthesized speech uses text-to-speech software that can be harder to understand but that permits the user to spell words and speak novel messages.
High-tech systems may be dedicated devices developed solely for AAC, or non-dedicated devices such as computers that run additional software to allow them to function as AAC devices. They may be static or dynamic in form. Static communication devices have symbols in fixed positions on paper overlays, which are changed manually. To increase the vocabulary available, some static devices have multiple levels, with different words appearing on different levels. On dynamic AAC devices, the user can change the symbols available using page links to navigate to appropriate pages of vocabulary and messages.