Approximately 7.5 million people in the US have trouble using their voices, according to the National Institute of Health. Because of speech impediments, these Americans struggle to communicate and struggle to live normal day-to-day lives.
Imagine asking where the bathroom is, but meeting puzzled faces that have no idea what you just said.
Well that’s what a small Israeli startup called Voiceitt is trying to change.
The company has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for an app called Talkitt, which will translate users’ speech into more intelligible language. It recognises patterns based on the speaker’s impediment, creating a personalised dictionary for each user.
So if a person with Cerebral Palsy says “sho-ko-la” instead of “chocolate,” the app will recognise that word and project a clearer version with a Siri-like voice.
Users will have to devote some time to teaching the app their own speech patterns to create their own Talkitt dictionary. But once they have done that, they will have an incredible resource.
The app is currently only available on Android, but an iOS version is on its way. Users will have to pay a monthly subscription for the app.
If Voiceitt hits its Indiegogo goal of $US50,000, the company will be able to turn its demo into a viable app in six months, according to the company’s press release. The campaign has currently raised $17,300 as of publish time, and they have 18 days left to pass their goal.
“Usually there is a parent, spouse or caregiver who understands what the person is saying,” Voiceitt cofounder and CEO Danny Weissberg said. “But out in the real world, that person is alone. For millions of people it is very frustrating to order a cup of coffee.
“We are trying to help them integrate into society using their own personal translator,” he said. “Our vision is to have our technology be smarter than the person who has been by their side and understands every word they say. It’s wonderful and unbelievably rewarding to be able to change someone’s life like that.”
You can watch this video to learn more about Talkitt:
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