Public Speaking Expert
We are all aware of the power of speech and to be able to deliver your message in a clear and concise way can have huge benefits but now it is possible to use your own speech and language to help others through a new app.
A new app for smartphones is currently being developed to help people with speech impediments caused by illness such as Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy or even a stroke.
It is hoped that the app will be able to give a level of speech to those who have difficulties in talking but instead of being the computerised voice many of us have become familiar with the voices will now hopefully have more expression and life to them thanks to the app.
At the moment anyone who needs to use a computer to help them with speech has to have a generic computer sounding voice, similar to that of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. But the new app may offer an alternative and allow people who are unable to speak to have their very own voice and speech patterns.
One of the scientists behind the project spoke to the Times of India and explained: “For these individuals, this is the only way that they interact with people around them” making it so important that the speech that is created is of the highest possible standard.
Rupal Patel explained that the researchers behind the app first monitor the limited sounds that the patients are able to make and from this they are able to build a picture of how the person would sound if they were themselves able to speak fully. From the breathing patterns and the noises they can determine if a voice would be deep or high pitched and the type of intonations that may occur.
Once the voices have been assessed then a voice donor is picked with the same sex and age as the patient and can then donate their voice by reading thousands of sample sentences from books such as The Wizard of Oz and White Fang”.
By then breaking down the recorded sentences the researchers are able to build a personalised voice for someone thanks to the donor voice.
Software is used to beak down all of the tiny sounds in each word that is recorded but the process is a long and slow one especially because the donor needs to take the time to record many hours of voice for a full range to be available.
It may still be in its early stages but there is a lot of potential to help those who do bot have the power of speech to be able to have their own voice in the future and in a world where making yourself heard is so important, this cannot come too soon.