Speech Graphics Rebrands as Rapport

Speech Graphics, a provider of audio-driven facial animation technology, has expanded in response to increased demand for relatable virtual assistants and created a new brand named Rapport, fueled by a recent funding round of $7 million.

Speech Graphics can interpret the emotional nuances in voice performances to drive detailed models of the muscle systems involved in speech, In addition to virtual assistants, Speech Graphics technologies can also be used by video games developers.

Rapport has developed a platform enabling users to create highly personal interactions with digital avatars anywhere on the web, in game engines, or in apps. The platform provides access to Speech Graphics' real-time avatar technology, along with low-latency streaming, real-time animation, and emotional artificial intelligence that interprets the user’s voice and responds accordingly, integrated with a scalable back-end plugin infrastructure that readily connects a growing range of third-party technologies, including conversational AI, speech recognition, and speech synthesis.

With Rapport, developers can do the following:

  • Integrate a talking avatar into any website using just a few lines of JavaScript;
  • Access AI, text-to-speech, and automatic speech recognition providers for specific verticals;
  • Scale to millions of users using proprietary browser rendering technology and a flexible back end; and
  • Animate an infinite number of avatars, from photoreal humans to stylized characters and anthropomorphic animals.

"Speech Graphics was founded on the idea that we can bring realistic facial animation to video games using proprietary technology. It's a major milestone as the AI market accelerates and a unique opportunity for the Rapport brand to become synonymous with the technology powering audio driven facial animation," said Gregor Hofer, CEO and founder of Rapport, in a statement. "This new expansion perfectly exhibits our growing ambition to expand our market presence."

"Sands Capital invested in Rapport because we believe that, with its revolutionary approach to AI, facial animation, and deeply collaborative experiences, Rapport is poised to grow its presence using its Speech Graphics engine," said Michael Graninger, a partner at Sands Capital, in a statement. "We've been closely following Speech Graphics and have no doubt that the team has the technical acumen, depth of experience, and charisma to drive the expansion of Rapport to incredible success."

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