Nuvoic project – Spring 2021 update
Work continues this year on the Nuvoic Project, our collaboration with specialist app developer Voiceitt which aims to improve access to voice recognition technologies for people who have speech difficulties. Voiceitt’s app supports people who want to communicate or control Smart Home technologies using their own voice, but who have difficulty being understood. The Karten Network is leading on user involvement and testing in the UK.
We’re delighted to welcome our new Project Technologist, Sean Connolly, to the Nuvoic Project Team! Sean joins us on secondment from his previous role as Training Officer for Cedar Foundation’s Inclusion Works service, bringing his experience of supporting and advising individuals and organisations on the use of assistive technology, as well as a strong interest in smart home technologies. Welcome Sean!
Since our last newsletter, we’ve continued to work with Karten Centres and other partner organisations to recruit people with non-standard speech to test the Voiceitt app, and we’re delighted to welcome participants from FitzRoy, New Bridge Horizons, SeeAbility and St John’s College, as well as others who’ve contacted us directly. They join those already involved individually or through Beaumont College, Cedar Foundation, Enable Ireland, Leonard Cheshire, Homefield College, National Star, The Grange Centre and Young Epilepsy.
We now have participants using Voiceitt to access audiobooks and music, control lights and TVs as well as to support their communication. We’re getting lots of useful feedback about the app, and Voiceitt have recently implemented switch access and predictive text in response to testers’ comments. They’re currently working to support voice and video calls, including Alexa’s Drop-in feature, which we expect to be popular among our testers.
Participants at Hill House (Leonard Cheshire) and The Grange have also contributed video clips where they demonstrate the app and talk about how they use it. These will be combined and published later in the year – watch this space!
Thanks to all our participants and partner organisations for your contribution so far!
We’re still recruiting participants to test the Voiceitt app, especially the new Smart Home features, giving integrated control of an Amazon Echo smart speaker. We’re also looking to recruit people with impaired speech who are willing to donate voice recordings to help develop Voiceitt’s technology.
We’re keen to work with new partner organisations who support people with impaired speech, and we have funding available to reimburse organisations for time spent supporting the project. We can also work directly with individuals, family members and carers to support participation, and we offer vouchers, as well as free use of Voiceitt during participation and for six months afterwards, to thank participants for their contribution. Please see our project web pages for details of what’s involved.
Get in touch!
We would love to hear from you if you, your organisation or someone you know may be interested in taking part, or if you’d like more information. Please email our project co-ordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can find more information and get in touch via our project web pages.