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Speech recognition technology to enable the speech disabled to communicate freely

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Talkitt (Speech recognition technology to enable the speech disabled to communicate freely)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-03-31

Speech is a basic need. For about 1.3% of the world’s population, however, day to day communication is a nearly impossible task. Voiceitt have developed Talkitt, a smartphone app that can translate inaudible speech into clear speech in real time using a unique speech recognition algorithm and a well-defined user database. Talkitt enables and encourages people with speech impairments to communicate and be understood using their own voices. It is easily downloadable to any smart device and is cross-platform compatible. Talkitt’s goal is to improve the quality of life of speech disabled people by fostering inclusion and independence and enabling communication through their own voices. By the end of the innovation project, Voiceitt will launch two applications: Talkitt Basic and Talkitt Pro, both of which will be available on all devices and will be usable in hands-free recognition mode and will be activated by speech (hands-free). The two products are designed to address the different severities of speech disabilities. Voiceitt anticipates that approximately 40% of end users will be better suited for the Talkitt Basic app (severely impaired speakers); the other 60% (the mildly-impaired speakers) is expected to be suited to Talkitt Pro. Through the innovation project, Voiceitt intends to launch the two versions of the app and perform a widespread market validation with trials in four countries.
Voiceitt undertook a full analysis of the both the technical and business potential of the Talkitt app. Throughout the project, Voiceitt has expanded their knowledge on the capabilities of the two apps, the mHealth and AAC device market, the different commercial and private customer segments and established a sound business model and commercialisation strategy for the anticipated market launch. Beta testing was completed and the feedback received has been crucial in shaping the remaining activities to be performed. Voiceitt also secured a hospital, a school and two disability associations for participation in large scale end user trials.
The expected outcome of the project is to optimise the technology and assure cross-platform compatibility, and gain a widespread market validation with end users in four countries. A sociolinguistic study will also be performed to evaluate the improvement to quality of life offered to speech disabled people. The Talkitt app is expected to be a life-changing technology as people are given the opportunity to speak freely for the first time.