English firm Therapy Box has released Predictable 4, an iOS mobile app that allows people with limited vocal ability or who are losing their voices due to Lou Gehrig's disease and other disabling conditions to replace generic text-to-speech synthesis with a synthesizer based on their own voices.
The app integrates ModelTalker, a program developed by Tim Bunnell and his colleagues at the Nemours Speech Research Laboratory in Wilmington, Del.
"It is very gratifying to be able to provide ModelTalker voices on the app," Bunnell said in a statement. "As a pediatric healthcare system with a significant special needs population, Nemours is always looking for ways to reach children who may benefit from new assistive technologies. It's exciting to see our research efforts go from the lab to the iPad."
"Everyone's voice is personal; it defines who we are and is part of what makes us unique as human beings," Rebecca Bright, co-founder of Therapy Box said in a statement. "Previously, those who can no longer speak, for whatever reason, could use an off-the-shelf communication tool featuring a generic voice, which in many cases does not reflect the age or local dialect of the person. The latest app means these people can use their own voice, or a close approximation of their voice, so that they continue to sound authentically like themselves when they do not have the power to communicate verbally."
Acapela's My-Own-Voice app lets users record their own voices to use as the basis of text-to-speech software to be used later.