Released in June 2012, the voices of British children Harry and Rosie were recorded by and for children. Users can select the authentic boy or girl as their preferred Text to Speech voice to speak a want, need or thought using symbol-based communication or typing with word-prediction. The voices are included in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solution Proloquo2Go for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, visual storytelling App Pictello and can be purchased to use system-wide with Infovox iVox.
“These new voices will further transform the lives of children who cannot speak and the lives of those around them,” said Anna Reeves, National AAC Coordinator for England. “It may be the very first time that families hear their own children speak with a child’s voice – you can’t put a price on that.”
“This groundbreaking project is the first of its kind in the industry,” said Lars-Erik Larsson, CEO of Acapela Group. “With over 2,500 hours of research, recording, processing and development, the new children’s voices are a fulfilling result and a reflection of our longtime leadership in this field.”
About 60% of the Proloquo2Go user base is 11-years-old or younger, yet prior to these new voices, children could only select adult voices or artificially emulated children’s voices. This was one of the primary motivators for creating the child voices – to have a product that more accurately represents its users.
“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,” said David Niemeijer, founder and CEO of AssistiveWare. “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.”
The winner will be announced during the BETT Show in London, at the Bett Awards dinner on Wednesday January 30.