Creating a computer-synthesized adult voice is no easy task, which is why the IVR industry is thankful for cutting-edge speech companies like the Acapela Group that spend thousands of hours developing the most authentic-sounding voices in the world.
These voices aren’t just created for use in IVR solutions, though. More often than not, they’re meant for something much bigger.
Recently the Acapela Group and AssistiveWare, a company specializing in innovative assistive software for Apple devices, have partnered up to create the world’s first genuine computer-generated American child’s voice.
According to an article from redOrbit, the team created one male and one female voice, nicknamed Josh and Ella.
Instead of focusing on the kind of IVR solutions Plum specializes in, these voices were meant for the 720,000 American children suffering from speech problems that hinder their ability to communicate.
In order to do this, the two companies have integrated Josh and Ella into the Apple-enabled app, Proloquo2Go.
This application enables users to communicate either by selecting symbols or entering text, which the app then reads aloud. According to Proloquo2Go, about 60% of their users are children under the age of 11.
According to redOrbit, David Niemeijer, founder and CEO of AssistiveWare, commented:
We have already received positive feedback from children and their parents that the unique voice offering in Proloquo2Go makes a positive difference in how they communicate…
…Often, we hear that the cognitive and emotional skills of children are finally understood because prior to using Proloquo2Go, the child may have never been able to verbalize or express his or her thoughts. We are excited that those phrases will finally resemble the child’s own voice.
Proloquo2Go is available for purchase today on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch for $189.99, but for current users of the app the new voices are free.
RedOrbit also reports that by December 2012 Josh and Ella will be available for widespread use by developers of other software and applications.