Product Spotlight: Talkitt
What if every time you opened your mouth, the sounds that emerge barely resemble the far more articulate thoughts in your head? What if swinging by Starbucks to order a tall, non-fat, half-caf, no-whip vanilla latte has the relative difficulty of summiting Mount Everest? Picture your world where everything you say is met with the furrowed brows and quizzical expressions of people legitimately, though futilely, trying to understand you.
This is the reality for 1.5% of the world's population who—through ALS, cerebral palsy, autism, traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease or others—are living with speech disabilities. This is the reality that Talkitt, an innovative new technology from Voiceitt that can translate indecipherable language into clear communication, is determined to change.
How does Talkitt give someone back their voice?
"This isn't standard speech recognition," said Danny Weissberg, the cofounder and CEO of Voiceitt. "We are using pattern recognition which is personalized for the speaker. For example, a person with Cerebral Palsy might say 'sho-ko-la' when he really means to say 'chocolate.' The app will recognize that based on the user's own personalized, pre-recorded dictionary."
Once downloaded, Talkitt software will run conveniently on smartphones and tablets. To get the ball rolling, an individual with a speech disability will record a word and then that person (or a caregiver with the ability to understand them) will link the utterance to a word on the application. Language is no barrier, as any can be selected. Once in play, the system draws on this voice database to facilitate communication with people the user comes into contact with on a daily basis.
The over effect is a game-changer. Formerly cut-off by an inability to express themselves, people with communication challenges can enjoy greater independence and well-being. "The ability to speak and be understood is basic for most people, yet for me it is a daily struggle. Talkitt opens up the ability to enjoy a broad range of social activities and have a better life," said Orit Kelner, who has cerebral palsy.
When will Talkitt hit the market?
Voiceitt's dream team cannot get this life-changing technology out the door fast enough and expects it to be live in the first quarter of 2015. They are finalizing development, have created working software demonstrations and, to bring the product to market, they initiated a seed round funding campaign with Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform where ideas go to happen.
From there, the sky's the limit.
Weissberg expects such innovative speech technology to change the way the mass market uses speech-to-text. He foresees that the Talkitt app will be utilized in devices such as Google Glass and smart watches. "There are so many possibilities to incorporate our model. We also plan to expand our technology into sophisticated gaming for the disabled as well as the mass market, allowing people to use their voice to operate a computer game or other application."Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!