Donating voice for those who want to speak
The earth presently is home to around 7.5 billion human beings and about 20% of them are mute. Some of these people lost their ability to speak due to some psychological problems, some physical, and some were born without the ability, that is, they never knew what their voice sounded like. Without the ability to talk, life just becomes hard and in this world, especially now, when being social is so important.
However, life does not stop and with the advancement in science, things can be made better. Stephen Hawking was one such individual. Diagnosed with motor neuron disease, Hawking lost his voice when he was just 21. Despite of that, he did communicate with the world with the help of technology. He had attached a sensor on his cheek muscle and used it to type characters on his keyboard. Though it was not the same thing, it still helped him put forward his thoughts.
What VocaliD offers is something very much similar. VocaliD was started by Rupal Patel, a professor at Northeastern University, who wanted to discover a way to give a text to speech capability to people who need it. This clinic records people’s voices and donates it. While the voice will be generated from a device, it would still not sound like the voice which Alexa or Siri usually has. All the donor has to do to donate is say about 2000 phrases into the microphone, so that the device can properly capture the whole range of his/her voice. This was the plan started by Northeastern University Voice Preservation clinic and they got together with VocaliD to execute it.
VocaliD records the voice in a soundproof room with a high-quality microphone as the voice would be a great part of someone’s life. This innovation has solved more than one problem. While this option was still available in the past, it was way too costly. However, now, with advanced technology, an individual can share his thoughts for $1499.
Teena Rose Tom