Karten Network

Nuvoic news

The latest progress and updates from the Nuvoic Project

Voiceitt features on Amazon’s blog

Amazon's day one blog logo

See Amazon’s article on Voiceitt, included in their Day One blog, describing how Voiceitt helps users who have non-standard speech to communicate and control Smart Home technology via Alexa.

Posted: August 2021

Voiceitt launches on AppStore

AppStore logo

Voiceitt is now available from the AppStore! Older versions installed using TestFlight will no longer update and will eventually stop working, but users can keep using Voiceitt with all their existing phrases and commands by downloading the latest version of Voiceitt from the AppStore to their iPad or iPhone. Voiceitt have also added new game-style features so users can earn points and achievements when they use Voiceitt for something new. We look forward to hearing what our participants think of the new features!

Posted: July 2021

Voiceitt featured in Forbes magazine

Gus Alexiou, journalist

Forbes magazine has published an article on user testing of Voiceitt through the Nuvoic project: Voiceitt App For Atypical Speech — A Triumph In Disability Co-Design, by UK journalist Gus Alexiou. Gus writes about diversity, equity, inclusion and issues affecting people living with physical disabilities.

Posted: June 2021

Nuvoic participants using Voiceitt

Some of our participants show the different ways they’ve been using Voiceitt through the Nuvoic project.

This short video shows participants of the Nuvoic project demonstrating some of the phrases and Alexa commands they’ve been using in Voiceitt. They’ve previously trained the app to recognise how they say each phrase or command, and are showing how these can be used in Recognition mode.​

​Ashley, Bev and Mark use Voiceitt to introduce themselves, Sarah asks Alexa about the weather and Anthony changes the colour of his LED lights from red to green. Ashley asks Alexa to play Magic radio, and Bev turns her bedroom lamp on. At the end, Mark shares his thoughts about Voiceitt so far, saying “I like it because it helps me to communicate”.​

Posted: June 2021

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May and highlight the fun side of accessibility, Voiceitt posted a video of Nuvoic participant Mark using Voiceitt to ask Alexa to tell a joke

Posted: May 2021

Nuvoic project – Spring 2021 update

Article featured in the Karten Network March 2021 Newsletter

Example of the Karten Network newsletter being read on an iPad

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.

Updates

Sean Connolly, Project Technologist

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!

Get involved!

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: liz@karten-network.org.uk, or you can find more information and get in touch via our project web pages.

Posted: March 2021

Sarah’s views on Voiceitt

Sarah describes how she’s been using Voiceitt through the Nuvoic project

In this video, Nuvoic participant Sarah talks about her experience trying out Voiceitt through the Nuvoic project. She says “Hello. I really enjoy taking part in the Voiceitt trial. I could never use Alexa before due to my speech impairment, as it didn’t recognise my voice. Being able to access the news and weather without Googling it every day has been ideal.”​

Posted: March 2021

Voiceitt receive a ‘Best of Innovation’ award

Logo for the Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Awards 2021

Congratulations to Voiceitt on their ‘Best of Innovation’ award from the Consumer Electronics Show. Read more about the Innovation Awards at CES 2021

Posted: January 2021

Nuvoic project – January 2021 update

Article featured in the Karten Network January 2021 Newsletter

Example of the Karten Network newsletter being read on an iPad

The Karten Network has continued working on the Nuvoic Project our collaboration with specialist app developer Voiceitt, aiming to improve access to speech recognition technology for people who have speech difficulties. Voiceitt’s app supports people who want to communicate using their own voice but have difficulty being understood by unfamiliar people, or who want to use their voice for smart home control but can’t access mainstream technologies. The Karten Network is leading on user involvement and testing in the UK. 

Updates 

Since our last newsletter, we’ve been working with several of our partner organisations to recruit individuals to take part in the project, and we’re delighted that we now have participants from Beaumont College in Lancaster, Cedar Foundation in Northern Ireland, Enable Ireland, Hill House care home in Sandbach (Leonard Cheshire), Homefield College in Leicestershire, National Star in Cheltenham, The Grange Centre and Young Epilepsy in Surrey, as well as some individuals who’ve contacted us directly. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our participants and partner organisations for your contribution so far, especially in such challenging circumstances!

In December, Voiceitt announced their collaboration with Amazon to make Alexa accessible for users with impaired speech, and in January were awarded a ‘Best of Innovation’ award in the Accessibility category by the Consumer Technology Association. Congratulations Voiceitt!

We’ve also recently published our new Nuvoic project web pages, check these out for information and updates about the project. 

Get involved! 

We’re still recruiting participants to test the Voiceitt app, especially the new Smart Home mode which gives 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: liz@karten-network.org.uk, or you can find more information and get in touch via our project web pages.

Posted: January 2021

Working with Amazon

An Amazon Echo smart speaker, smart bulbs and a smart plug

Voiceitt have now announced that they will be working with Amazon to make Alexa accessible for people with non-standard speech. As well as helping users talk to people who may not understand their speech, Voiceitt can now help users ask Alexa about the news or weather; play music, audiobooks or podcasts; control lights, plugs, TVs and other smart home devices!

Posted: December 2020

First participants enrolled

Logo for The Grange at Bookham

A very warm welcome to our first participants in the Nuvoic project from The Grange at Bookham! They’ll be testing the Voiceitt app and giving us some feedback on what works well and what can be improved, supported by the fantastic Assistive Technology team there!

Posted: October 2020