Continuing on with major corporations integrating Israeli technology into some of humanity’s most popular products; Eloops platform now part of Microsoft Teams offering, or Apple tapping BreezoMeter to upgrade the iOS weather app with air quality index. Joining the two, Israeli startup Voiceitt announced, that its commercial speech recognition mobile app will now be accessible through Amazon’s Alexa.
"We thought it would never happen"
Voiceitt’s technology combines machine-learning algorithms with speech recognition technologies to provide people with speech disabilities an advanced way to communicate and be understood. The company’s AI-powered system learns from people with atypical speech to expand its voice database, providing a modern use of smart technologies to create a more inclusive world.
Mainly focused on in-person communication for people with atypical speech or other speech disabilities, the Israeli firm realized that the growing smart voice services, like Alexa, are a perfect point of interaction that can assist people with speech disabilities by empowering their independence and relieving helping family members.
"You have no idea how many doors you will be opening for so many people. We waited for this for so long; we thought it would never happen. This is such a wonderful gift, in so many ways." This was the testimony of the Orzels, a couple from New York (both in a wheelchair, husband living with cerebral palsy), who requested to take part in the Alexa-Voiceitt pilot, and now live a more independent life now that the husband has access to Alexa and its voice activated services.
Danny Weissberg, CEO and co-founder of Voiceitt leads the company’s passion towards providing better quality of life, noting that "Voice technologies are increasingly mainstream, and this Alexa integration is testament to the growing awareness among major technology players of the importance of ensuring these technologies address the diverse needs and preferences of their customers, including people whose voices deviate from standard speech. Integration of Voiceitt's speech recognition with a powerful service like Alexa further demonstrates Voiceitt's value proposition in a rapidly expanding industry, and of our vision – to make speech recognition accessible to everyone."
The Voiceitt developed speech recognition app is available in several different languages and programmed to conveniently accommodate users, with severe speech impediments and mobility disabilities, during the onboarding process. The company’s game-changing technology has helped create a wide global network of collaborations and partnerships, aiming at improving quality of life for people with disabilities.
Peter Korn, Director of Accessibility at Amazon Lab126 said: "We share the company's vision to help people with speech impairments live more independently through voice. We were delighted to support them through an Alexa Fund investment and now through an Alexa integration via their mobile app."
Similar to its recent successful pilot with Inglis House, a long-term care wheelchair community for people with physical disabilities. In the pilot, Voiceitt integrated with Alexa worked closely with the Inglis Assistive Technology team to help patients with cerebral palsy. With the help of the Alexa-Voiceitt speech recognition magic, users were able to preform daily tasks, such as controlling the TV, playing their own music. These moments of independence can mean the world for most of these patients, now more than ever, as we go through a social-distancing pandemic.
"Voiceitt takes the intuitiveness of Alexa and opens it up to an even larger population. It will prove to push beyond the boundaries of possibility for assistive technology while empowering its users," said Dyann Roth, President & CEO of Inglis.
Voiceitt was founded in 2012 by CEO Danny Weissberg, CTO Stas Tiomkin, and VP Strategy Sara Smolley and is an alumnus of the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, and an Amazon Alexa Fund portfolio company. Additional investors include the AMIT Technion, AARP, Microsoft's M12, Viking Maccabee Ventures, and Quake Capital.