Voiceitt Makes Alexa Accessible for Disabled

Author: Voiceitt (i): Contact: voiceitt.com

Published: 05.12.2020

Table of contents and important points:

Voiceitt announces that people with speech impairments can now use the Voiceitt mobile app to access and interact with Amazon Alexa.

Voiceitt applies machine learning and speech recognition technologies to help people with speech impairments related to stroke, degenerative diseases, or developmental disorders communicate and be understood.

Voiceitt saw the opportunity to expand the technology to facilitate not only personal communication but also interaction with voice-activated and controlled devices.

Main digestion

Voiceitt, a leader in commercial speech recognition for atypical speech, announced today that people with speech impairments can use the Voiceitt mobile app to access and interact with Amazon’s Alexa.

Voiceitt was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv. Voiceitt’s mission is to improve the independence and quality of life of people with speech and motor disabilities. Proprietary ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) technology enables people with speech impairments to access voice-activated intelligent assistants and to communicate and be understood through speech.

Voiceitt was founded with the aim of applying its machine learning and speech recognition technologies to help people with speech impairments related to stroke, degenerative diseases, or developmental disorders communicate and be understood. Backed with $ 15 million in government grants, corporate award competitions, and equity investments, Voiceitt built its speech recognition algorithms and extensive language database by learning from people with atypical language.

Voiceitt makes Alexa accessible

In collaboration with Amazon, the leading voice technology company is opening up the possibilities of voice computing for the people who need it most.

Man in a wheelchair demonstrates the Voiceitt Mobile App in action. YouTube screenshot image courtesy of Voiceitt.

Taking advantage of the growing popularity of voice services and smart speakers, Voiceitt saw the opportunity to expand its technology offering to facilitate not only face-to-face communication, but also interaction with voice-activated and controlled devices.

“We are excited to work with Amazon to bring the benefits of voice technologies to a broad segment of customers who may not have previously been able to use these products,” said Danny Weissberg, CEO and co-founder of Voiceitt.

“Voice technologies are increasingly mainstream, and this Alexa integration is a testament to the growing awareness among technology companies of the importance of making sure these technologies meet the diverse needs and preferences of their customers, including people whose voices are different from the standard language Integration of Voiceitt Speech recognition with a powerful service like Alexa shows Voiceitt’s value proposition in a fast growing industry and our vision to make speech recognition accessible to everyone. “

“We are excited to be working with Voiceitt to bring Alexa even more people to use,” said Peter Korn, director of accessibility at Amazon Lab126. “We share the company’s vision to help people with language disabilities live more independently through language. We were excited to support them by investing in the Alexa Fund and now with Alexa integration through their mobile app.”

Pilot program

The announcement follows a successful pilot project at Inglis House, a long-term care wheelchair community for people with physical disabilities. In the pilot, Voiceitt worked closely with Inglis’ Assistive Technology team to help participants with cerebral palsy and atypical speech use Voiceitt and Alexa to carry out daily tasks like controlling channels on their TVs or playing music independently.

For people with disabilities who affect motor control, the ability to navigate their surroundings and control smart devices by voice, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, can reduce and contribute to reliance on human caregiver assistance to maintain social distancing practices while opening up opportunities for more independent living.

“Voiceitt is taking the intuitiveness of Alexa and opening it up to an even larger population. It will prove to be beyond the capabilities of assistive technology while empowering its users,” said Dyann Roth, President & CEO of Inglis.

“Due to a lack of neurological and motor control, speech disorders are often accompanied by other motor control disorders, making it difficult for some of our residents to perform everyday activities such as asking for help, greeting a friend and turning off a bedroom light,” said Roth.

Smart home devices

Voice services like Alexa and smart home devices have increasingly shown that they can help people with disabilities to rely less on those around them.

“However,” explained Roth, “commercial solutions don’t always work well for people with speech impairments who may need them most. Alexa and Voiceitt will give Inglis residents and many others in our community access to these innovative technologies for the first time “said Roth.

“The integration of Voiceitt with Alexa strengthens Voiceitt’s position as the leading provider of speech recognition for people with speech impairments,” said Sara Smolley, vice president of strategy and late co-founder at Voiceitt.

“Voiceitt’s applicability can be extended from the voice-activated connected home to a range of use case settings, including care centers, disability organizations, elderly care facilities and hospitals. During the global pandemic, we are enabling our users to get things done using.” Technology rather than relying on other people, which can help reduce virus exposure. In particular, the integration that we implemented with Alexa shows how Voiceitt can improve the independence and quality of life of people with disabilities and those who care for them. “

Voiceitt’s first commercial product is a mobile app that facilitates face-to-face communication for people with severe language impairments. It has been validated in multiple languages ​​and with a variety of basic conditions that affect the language.

Voiceitt app

When the Voiceitt app is downloaded to a mobile device, Voiceitt provides an intuitive and highly personalized onboarding experience tailored to the specific needs of consumers with dexterity or mobility impairments. The network of international partners includes health care providers, speech therapists and occupational therapists, researchers and disability organizations in the US, Israel and across Europe who have participated in Voiceitt’s testing programs to enable their clients to communicate more easily with their families, caregivers and health professionals.

Voiceitt participated in Techstars’ Alexa Accelerator in Seattle in 2018 and is a portfolio company of the Amazon Alexa Fund. Other investors are AMIT Technion, AARP, Microsoft M12, Viking Maccabee Ventures and Quake Capital. Voiceitt worked with AARP Innovation Labs to demonstrate and validate its products in aging adults.

Voiceitt is making its product available to a limited number of organizations and individuals as part of its Community Release, a program it launched in preparation for its commercial product launch in the first quarter of 2021.

Michael and Wendy Orzel, a married couple from New York, applied to participate in the Alexa integration pilot because Wendy (who uses an electric wheelchair) could use Alexa while her husband Michael (who has cerebral palsy) could not. Michael told Voiceitt that he wanted to keep using Alexa because it had helped him in his daily life. Regarding the pilot, the Orzels said, “You have no idea how many doors you will open to so many people. We have waited so long for this; we thought it would never happen. This is a wonderful gift.” many possibilities.”

To learn more about Voiceitt’s Community Release and to pre-order, visit: www.voiceitt.com

Watch Voiceitt demonstrations on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmVCzeXPeWU

Voiceitt announces the launch of Indiegogo’s crowdfunding campaign: Voiceitt is developing an app called Talkitt with innovative speech technology that enables people with motor, speech and language disorders to communicate with their own voice by translating the incomprehensible pronunciation into understandable language.

(i) Source / Reference: Voiceitt. Disabled World makes no guarantees or warranties in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length.

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Page quote:

Journal: Disabled World. Language: English. Author: Voiceitt. Electronic publication date: 2020-12-05. Last revision: 2020-12-05. Reference title: “Voiceitt makes Alexa accessible for the disabled”, source: Voiceitt makes Alexa accessible for the disabled. Abstract: Voiceitt announces that people with speech impairments can now use the Voiceitt mobile app to access and interact with Amazon Alexa. Retrieved on December 6, 2020 from https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/apps/voiceitt.php – reference category number: DW # 468-13904.

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