Runner up of the Most outstanding digital inclusion initiative
We know that many people who could benefit from digital tools and services just aren’t able to because they face digital exclusion. This category celebrates initiatives that go the extra mile to help everyone benefit from digital technologies.
Predictable – offers customisable augmentative and alternative communication functions which give a voice to people who are losing or who have lost their natural voice. The app is improving people’s independence and has a highly intelligent word prediction engine, allowing users to generate messages efficiently. Our most recent project involves implementing a voice banking engine, ModelTalker, into the app – this involves taking a person’s natural voice and turning it into a synthesized voice similar to how a person might sound if he or she weren’t limited by lost of their natural voice.
Predictable, an award winning text-to-speech app, offers customisable augmentative and alternative communication functions with the latest social media integration, giving voice to people who are losing or who have lost their natural voice. The app is improving individual’s’ independence and has many innovative features which help people who cannot use their natural voice or have motor difficulties. The app has a highly intelligent word prediction engine which gives a person the power to produce messages fast and efficiently. It reduces amount of keystrokes a person has to input and quickly learns what they say.
The app has integrated different social media channels, so the user can create an inclusive environment via integration for Twitter, Facebook, email and print. In the app you can also create and customise unique phonetic pronunciation for words – a great feature for those whose names get pronounced wrong by usual text-to-speech engines. The app also allows you to store commonly used phrases for quick access in message/phrase banking. Voice recording can also be done for these messages. In the last update of Predictable, we implemented Dyslexia support – intelligent prediction based on phonetic spelling, which automatically identifies words based their sound rather than spelling, and corrects in the prediction strip.
Predictable offers two alternative access methods for people with motor difficulties: Touch Anywhere is an intelligent scanning selection using the screen as a switch, whereby canning can be adjusted for users with different speeds and highlight opacities. Switch Access allows access via an external switch or two to make selections and works in a similar visual way to Touch Anywhere.
Therapy Box’s most recent development is implementing an engine for creating voices within the app.This involves taking a patient’s natural voice and turning it into a synthesized voice similar to how a person might sound with their natural voice. This development is a brand new and unexplored field that has wider implications than someone just being able to use an app to communicate. This technology would greatly benefit those who know they are going to lose their voice, perhaps due to an operation on their vocal cords. Predictable will be the first app to utilize ModelTalker, positively influencing the lives of people with communication difficulties.
One of Predictable’s users, Kerry says: “I can at last have a voice once more. Having a voice is just so important because you feel so isolated, and that decisions were being made for you instead of with you”. Sue used Predictable to make a speech at her recent 50th birthday party and she was thrilled with the reaction gained from her party attendees because it made her feel human again & still does today.’