We were created to be social beings – to enjoy the company of one another and communicate with friends, family, and God. While we know that God listens to our hearts more than our words, that isn’t true for interpersonal communication. Unfortunately, there are many who, due to stroke, degenerative disease, or developmental disorders, struggle to be understood. This can lead to frustration, isolation, and depression. Additionally, for those who have motor impairments for which their atypical speech is only a symptom, many of the wonderful voice-controlled accessibility tools may be unavailable to them.
Danny Weissberg, Israeli CEO and co-founder of Voiceitt, recognized this desperate need. “Everyone deserves to be able to express themselves and to be understood,” says the Tel Aviv-based entrepreneur. “With this launch [of Voiceitt], countless people with non-standard speech will be able to use their own voice to easily communicate with caregivers, loved ones, and even their smart home devices.”i Along with co-founders Stas Tiomkim and, later, Sara Smolley, he developed speech analysis technology that opens the possibility for verbal personal interaction to those for whom it was previously unobtainable.
Voiceitt first piloted its technology with Inglis House, a Philadephia-based long-term care wheelchair community. “Due to lack of neurological and motor control, speech impairments are often accompanied by other motor control disabilities, making it difficult for some of our residents to do everyday activities like asking for help, saying hello to a friend, and turning off a bedroom light,” said Dyann Roth, President and CEO of Inglis.ii Using the technology, participants with cerebral palsy and atypical speech were able to perform basic tasks like controlling the television, navigating their environment, and controlling smart devices.
Recognizing this necessity for communication and the ability for Voiceitt to address that need, Amazon stepped in to partner with the company to integrate the technology into Alexa, their AI virtual assistant. Peter Korn, Director of Accessibility at Amazon Lab126 said, “We share the company’s vision to help people with speech impairments live more independently through voice. We were delighted to support them through an Alexa Fund investment and now through an Alexa integration via their mobile app.”iii It is this app that now has many people buzzing.
Voiceitt has developed a way to put all the power of their communication technology into app form. And, incredibly, for the time being they are offering it at no cost. This Israeli company’s innovation has met with such success, that they want to bless those who have been affected by the pandemic and others who have just struggled for so long with their inability to effectively communicate. “I’m so proud to make our technology available to this wonderful community. Voice recognition technology is finally becoming accessible to everyone,” Weissberg added.iv
If this is a product that might open the door for communication for you or a loved one, just search for Voiceitt on the App Store, Google Play, or wherever you purchase your apps for your free download.
i NoCamels Team. “Voiceitt Launches Speech Recognition App For Those With Speech Impairments.” NoCamels, 8 June 2021, nocamels.com/2021/06/voiceitt-speech-recognition-app-impairments/.
ii Voiceitt. Voiceitt Makes Alexa Accessible for People with Disabilities, 3 Dec. 2020, www.prnewswire.com/il/news-releases/voiceitt-makes-alexa-accessible-for-people-with-disabilities-301185816.html.
iv NoCamels Team.