American Girl and Boy Voices Now Available in the Proloquo2Go App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Acapela Group and AssistiveWare are proud to unveil the first American genuine, natural-sounding children's voices now available in Proloquo2Go, designed to provide a voice for children who cannot speak. The US Census Bureau estimates that as many as 720,000 American children aged between 6 and 14-years-old have significant speech problems and difficulties being understood.
The American children voices, Josh and Ella, were recorded by and for children. Users can select the authentic boy or girl as their preferred Text to Speech voice to speak a want, need or thought using symbol-based communication or typing with word-prediction. The voices are included in the Proloquo2Go App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch through a new free 2.1 version update released today on the App Store.
After December 2012, these new voices will be available for licensing to other developers to utilize in their apps and communication devices, allowing even more children to access programs with voices that resemble their own.
“It is a really exciting advancement in the field of augmentative and alternative communication to finally have excellent, natural-sounding voices for young children,” said Joan Bruno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director, Communication Technology Resources.
“This groundbreaking project is the first of its kind in the industry,” said Lars-Erik Larsson, CEO of Acapela Group. “With over 2,500 hours of research, recording, processing and development, the new children’s voices are a fulfilling result and a reflection of our longtime leadership in this field.”
Proloquo2Go already provides a voice to tens of thousands of users around the world. About 60% of the Proloquo2Go user base is 11-years-old or younger (as young as 2-years-old), yet prior to these new voices, children could only select adult voices or artificially emulated children’s voices. This was one of the primary motivators for creating the child voices – to have a product that more accurately represents its users.
“We have already received positive feedback from children and their parents that the unique voice offering in Proloquo2Go makes a positive difference in how they communicate,” said David Niemeijer, founder and CEO of AssistiveWare. “Often, we hear that the cognitive and emotional skills of children are finally understood because prior to using Proloquo2Go, the child may have never been able to verbalize or express his or her thoughts. We are excited that those phrases will finally resemble the child’s own voice.”
The collaboration between Acapela Group and AssistiveWare dates back to 2003 when AssistiveWare was the first company to build a Mac product using the natural-sounding Acapela voices. Both companies share a strong dedication to the assistive technology market and were natural partners to tackle the challenges of developing children’s voices designed for people who cannot speak. Acapela Group brought decades of experience in building natural-sounding Text to Speech voices. AssistiveWare brought its experience in working with people with speech-impairments though its BETT 2011 award-winning Proloquo2Go augmentative and alternative communication app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
The Proloquo2Go App is available for $189.99 from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore. Version 2.1 includes the new American children voices as free downloads and is available at no charge to existing users.
For videos that include: a behind the scenes look at the project, how Text to Speech works, some short interviews, and the impact Proloquo2Go and these new voices have visit: http://www.assistiveware.com/american-childrens-voices.
Founded in 2000, AssistiveWare has established itself as the worldwide leader in innovative assistive technology software for Mac OS X and iOS. AssistiveWare works in close collaboration with end users and professionals to offer a portfolio of award-winning solutions for individuals with physical, vision, communication, and reading impairments. In 2002, AssistiveWare was the first company to deliver universal access to Mac OS X with the KeyStrokes on-screen keyboard. Always innovating, AssistiveWare was also the first company to release a full-featured Augmentative and Alternative Communication solution for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch – the award-winning app, Proloquo2Go. Recently AssistiveWare released Pictello, an exciting multilingual visual story telling app for iOS.
About Acapela Group
Acapela Group invents speech solutions that bring content to life through giving it a voice in up to 30 languages. More than 60 resounding synthetic, yet natural sounding voices as well as new, authentic British children’s voices are ready to vocalize written content into a pleasant audio result. Acapela Group's repertoire includes producing a wide-ranging library of voices including voices that have: accents or specific dialect attributes, singing or storytelling ability, different moods and emphasis, voices for all ages and all languages and recognizable characters or celebrities. Each audio selection is authentic sounding, unique and original, presenting a distinct personality that perfectly matches different contexts. More than just simple vocalization of texts, Acapela Group aims to add a subtle layer of intelligence and significantly enrich audio dimension by offering more meaning and intent to each voice.
Plugged In PR for AssistiveWare and Acapela Group
 US Census Bureau (2008) "Americans With Disabilities: 2005", US Census Bureau, December 2008.
Today AssistiveWare and Acapela Group proudly announced the release of Infovox iVox 3, smooth and pleasant text to speech voices for Mac OS X.
Infovox iVox 3 brings natural-sounding text to speech within reach of many more students, educators, and consumers, including people with vision, reading and speech impairments on a tight budget.
Infovox iVox 3 provides 61 system-wide voices in 25 languages to Mac OS X users. Among which 14 new natural-sounding voices in the following languages: German, Arabic, French, Norwegian, Dutch, Indian English, American English, British English, Swedish, Italian, Spanish, Danish and Flemish. It also offers three new dialects: Catalan Spanish, Finish Swedish and Indian English. In addition, the software adds two specialty voices: the Hip Hop voice “Saul” and the voice of Queen Elizabeth. These voices work with almost any application, including Apple’s VoiceOver, TextEdit, Preview, Safari, Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, AssistiveWare’s VisioVoice, Proloquo and GhostReader.
With Infovox iVox 3 it is no longer required to purchase all voices for a language at once. Based on user feedback the voices can now be purchased à la carte, with prices starting at $20 (North America) and € 20 excluding VAT (elsewhere) for use on up to two computers. Discounts are available for multiple voice and multiple computer licenses. The new model and pricing not only offers customers the ability to hand pick the voices they want, but for many languages also means a 20 to 80% price reduction. .
From within the Infovox iVox Voice Manager a 30-day fully-functional trial of each voice can be downloaded, which enables a thorough evaluation before purchase. Infovox iVox is a free update for our existing users and will include all the new standard voices in the language for which the user is licensed.Infovox iVox 3 requires an Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.4 or later and is fully compatible with Mac OS X Lion (10.7).
For more information and a fully-functional demo please see the product webpage. You can also contact one of our distributors such as Origin Instruments Corporation for North America or Kallysta for France.
AssistiveWare is the worldwide leader in innovative assistive technology software for Mac OS X and iOS. This includes award-winning KeyStrokes™ and TouchStrokes™ virtual keyboards, SwitchXS™ scanning on-screen keyboard, LayoutKitchen™ panel editor, Proloquo™ multi-purpose speech solution, award-winning VisioVoice™ for vision impaired Mac users, Pictello™ visual story-telling app for iOS as well as the ground breaking and award-winning Proloquo2Go® communication solution for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The ConvenienceWare product line makes the advanced technologies developed by AssistiveWare available in cool and convenient applications that make the life of Mac users easier.
AssistiveWare and ConvenienceWare are trade names and registered trademarks of AssistiveWare B.V. GhostReader, VisioVoice, SwitchXS, KeyStrokes, TouchStrokes, LayoutKitchen, Proloquo2Go and Proloquo are trademarks or registered trademarks of AssistiveWare B.V. Infovox iVox is a trademark of Acapela Group. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Pictello is a nice and easy application developed by AssistiveWare to share fun and content.
Teachers, parents and kids can use it to create talking picture books and develop literacy and narrative skills. Kids with special needs can use it to communicate, teachers and parents to facilitate comprehension or develop learning supports.
Pictello is a simple way to create talking books, photo albums, tutorials on iPhone and iPad. To create a page, add an image, up to five lines of text, plus audio content, and play the story! The audio part can be either a recorded voice or a text vocalized by Acapela natural text to speech voices.
Share comments and memories with a photo album, present something you like, develop a quick tutorial to help the kids using visual and audio support, tell your own story with pictures and dialogue using Acapela’s repertoire of natural voices, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Pictello has been developed for all ages and skill levels and does not require reading skills to locate and read stories. It offers an easy visual story creation wizard so anyone can use pictures and sound to share important moments in their lives. An advanced editor gives full control of the editing capabilities.
Acapela text to speech empowers Pictello with a wide range of voice persona to bring any story imaginable to life. It perfectly converts any text into pleasant speech for a pleasing audio result. North American English male and female voices are included, and up to 50 voices and 21 languages and dialects available as free downloads! Pictello does not require an active Internet connection for story creation or playback.
The current version of Pictello is localized in English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Turkish.
Stories can be shared using iTunes File Sharing or via WiFi with other Pictello users through a free account on the Pictello Sharing Server.
Available on the Apple appstore, Price: $18.99 – Universal app for iPhone and iPad
See feedback from users on the Pictello facebook page
and introduction video:
Uses for Pictello stories include:
More information on AssistiveWare website
Proloquo2Go, the full-featured AAC solution for iPod and iPad designed by AssistiveWare for people living with speech difficulties and speech empowered by Acapela voices, has been awarded the prestigious 2011 BETT Award in the category 'Special Educational Needs Solutions'.
The annual BETT Awards are a celebration of the creativity and innovation that can be found through ICT for education. The awards are given to organizations that have proven to be leaders in their fields.
The judges awarded Proloquo2Go BETT Awards 2011 winner for its good use of up-to-date technology and its use of a mainstream device for a specialist purpose, its flexibility in meeting a wide range of needs and its interface and use of symbols.
'Proloquo2Go is moving from one success to another. The whole team of AssistiveWare deserve this award for its commitment to the Accessibility community. We are proud to vocalize this advanced solution and to be a partner of AssitiveWare since decades' comments Lars-Erik Larsson, Acapela Group CEO.
More information at http://www.proloquo2go.com
Proloquo2Go is now on display in Apple Stores, performing Acapela voices.
Proloquo2Go is a full-featured AAC solution available on both iPod and iPad designed by Assistiveware for people living with speech difficulties, speech empowered by Acapela voices.
This innovative solution has been included by Apple on the iPads on display in Apple Stores worldwide.
Walk into a Apple Store and try it out!
Families, therapists and educators can now walk into over 300 Apple Stores in more than 10 countries, into hundreds of Best Buys and other stores with an in-store Apple Store as well as many other resellers and try the Proloquo2Go Augmentative and Alternative Communication solution hands-on.
More information at http://www.proloquo2go.com/News/
People with speech difficulties now have the possibility to use the smart iPhone or iPod touch devices to communicate with others, through an easy to use, advanced programme designed by AssistiveWare and using Acapela High Quality speech synthesis.
Proloquo2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution that fits in the pocket and brings Acapela natural sounding text-to-speech capabilities at the fingertips.
Features also include up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, default vocabulary of over 7000 items, full expandability and extreme ease of use to the iPhone and iPod touch.
‘It's a perfect solution for anyone who cannot afford spending a large part of their budget on an AAC tool but looks for a powerful solution’ Says David Niemeijer CEO of AssistiveWare. ‘Proloquo2Go will empower them with the freedom of voice using Acapela for iPhone, with female, male and also boy and girl voices to suit the end user’.
It will particularly appeal to young adults and teenagers who will enjoy using Apple devices on a daily basis, as a companion to a table top device or as a user’s sole AAC aid.
Proloquo2Go is a great solution for children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, or apraxia. It can also serve adults with acquired disabilities such as ALS, stroke or traumatic brain injury. Proloquo2Go can also be a useful solution in hospital and rehabilitation settings and a cost-effective solution for special education.
‘AssitiveWare and Acapela Group have been partners for a long time, working together to bring innovations to the Accessibility market and offer smart talking solutions to ease the daily lives of end users. We are very happy to have contributed to the development of this milestone in AAC and to give a voice to Proloquo2Go which is a breakthrough product for the accessibility market’ says Lars-Erik Larsson, CEO of Acapela Group.
Proloquo2Go is available on the App Store (http://itunes.com/apps/Proloquo2Go) for an introductory price of US$ 149.99 or Euro 109.99.
Proloquo2Go uses Acapela Group’s state-of-the-art Text-to-Speech voices. The current version includes North American English male, female, girl and boy voices. British English voices will soon be available as an option. Support for other languages and voices will be soon available.
For further information:http://www.proloquo2go.com
Acapela Group and AssistiveWare- worldwide leader in innovative assistive technology software for Mac OS X- announced the release of Infovox iVox 1.3 with new voices and new languages.
Infovox iVox 1.3, which let you access to your computer through a screen reader, check your spelling and read any selected text through a document reader application, and give a voice to any other application supporting voice output, with smooth and pleasant tones,offers new Mac voices for Italian, British, Russian, Greek and Norwegian.
Infovox iVox provides natural-sounding voices for multiple languages that work with virtually any Speech Manager compliant Mac OS X application.
Also, as of today the School license (max 150 computers) has been expanded to no longer be limited to deployment in a single school but allow allocation to machines in multiple schools of a district.
Infovox iVox 1.3 is a free upgrade for existing users that adds a host of new voices and languages: Vittorio for Italian, Rachel for British, Alyona for Russian, Dimitris for Greek, and Olav for Norwegian. The Russian and Greek voices require Mac OS X 10.5. The other voices require 10.3.9 or later.
Infovox iVox can be used with Apple's VoiceOver screen reader as well as many Mac OS X applications, including Preview, TextEdit, AssistiveWare's VisioVoice and Proloquo, ConvenienceWare GhostReader, and Adobe Acrobat. The voices also work great with the leading educational software, such as Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh version 3.0.4 and 4.0 and TextHelp's Read and Write Gold for Mac version 2.1.0 and later. This means that teachers can now use this best-of-breed software with the industry leading Infovox iVox voices to enhance the learning experience of their students.
Infovox iVox voices are sold per language with each language consisting of one or more male and/or female voices. All languages contain the American English Heather voice as a bonus.
All languages, except the Scandinavian ones, are available for a suggested retail price of US$ 99 in North America and 99 Euro excluding VAT everywhere else. This is for the first language. Additional language packs are available for a suggested retail price of US$ 49.50 in North America and 49.50 Euro excluding VAT everywhere else.
Scandinavian languages are available for a suggested retail price of 219 euro excluding VAT and as an additional language for 109.50 euro excluding VAT. Bundles of Infovox iVox with GhostReader are also available starting at US$ / Euro 109 for a single user.
For educational institutions teacher kits, classroom and school licenses are available as well.
For more information, a fully-functional downloadable demo and to listen to samples of the voices please consult the product page:
Infovox iVox: http://www.assistiveware.com/infovox_ivox.php
For more information contact AssistiveWare directly http://www.assistiveware.com
GhostReader reads aloud PDF, Word and other documents as well as selected text in any application using Acapela High Quality voices. It can also convert any text to audio files, MP3s, or bookmarkable audiobooks for playback on iPhone and iPod.
GhostReader 1.5 adds new Acapela voices (Czech, Polish, Swedish and Finnish), enhanced iPhone/iPod export, a pronunciation editor and much more. Sit back and relax while GhostReader reads for you!GhostReader can be used by anyone who prefers to listen to text rather then read it.
Many professionals, writers, educators and students use it on a daily basis to save time, to proof read their own writing or to learn the pronunciation of foreign languages or to improve their reading and listening comprehension.
GhostReader 1.5 is a free update for existing users. Pricing for GhostReader starts at 39.95 Euro/USD excluding VAT for a single-user monolingual.
AssistiveWare is the worldwide leader in innovative assistive technology software for Mac OS X that gives people back their lives.
Acapela Group and AssistiveWare have launched a number of new educational packages for their Mac OS X speech solutions.
Infovox iVox, the natural sounding voices that work with any Speech Manager compliant Mac OS X application and TextParrot, the powerful but affordable document and selection reader have made a profound impact in the classroom since their release last year. From today, lab and school licenses will be available to teachers and students at all levels of education, improving their access to the software.
In addition, Acapela Group and AssistiveWare have worked closely with the leaders in educational software, Kurzweil Educational Systems in the US and TextHelp Systems in the UK, to ensure that their upcoming software is fully compatible with Infovox iVox. Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh version 3.0.4 and 4.0, along with TextHelp's Read and Write Gold for Mac version 2.1.0, due for release in late June, are also fully compatible with Infovox iVox. This means that teachers can now use this best-of-breed software along with the cutting edge Infovox iVox voices to enhance the learning experiences of their students.
Educational licenses for TextParrot and Infovox iVox are for internal educational use. For school licenses they permit use by all students and teachers in the school with installation on up to 150 computers. For classroom licenses they permit use in one specific classroom or computer lab with installation on up to 50 computers. Educational licenses do not allow publication of audio files outside the classroom or school.
Schools interested in producing audio files for publishing should contact Acapela Group directly. To install the software on more then the maximum number of permitted computers, multiple classroom or school licences may be purchased. In the case of colleges or universities, a department, chair, or building is considered equivalent to a school.
Both Infovox iVox and TextParrot are Universal Binary enabled and can be used on either PowerPC or Intel Macs. The products include a wide range of natural sounding voices in several languages: US English, UK English, French, Canadian French, German, Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, American Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish.
A fully functional downloadable demo and voice samples are available at the following website: Infovox iVox: http://www.assistiveware.com/infovox_ivox.php TextParrot: http://www.convenienceware.com/textparrot.php
For more information contact AssistiveWare directly or one of AssistiveWare's distributors such as Origin Instruments Corporation (http://orin.com) for North America or ordiTICE (http://orditice.com) for France.
Discover TextParrot during BETT - London, January 10-13, 2007 Booth SN17 Acapela Group, the first European Speech Group, is exhibiting at BETT, the world's leading educational information and communications technologies (ICT) event. Today voice technologies empower educational and accessibility tools, allowing people to learn, communicate and enjoy their lives. This year, Acapela will showcase TextParrot, a brand new product dedicated to all Mac users.
TextParrot, developed in collaboration with the Acapela Group, literally converts any written text into speech and is capable of transforming any type of information in real-time just as the human voice would do.
Imagine that you are a college student and want to review an online lecture or your notes during lunch hour. Let TextParrot convert the text to iTunes and listen to it on your iPod while enjoying your sandwich.
Imagine that you need to get a million and one things done in your office including reading that lengthy document. Let TextParrot read the text to you while you focus on other tasks.
Imagine that you are an actor and need to study your parts while in public transport or in your car. Use TextParrot to convert the text to iTunes and listen to it on your iPod or car stereo.
Imagine that you are a teacher and have a student in your class failing on tests because he or she is a slow reader. Get the student a copy of TextParrot to read the material.
Don't limit your imagination! Visit Acapela at their booth!
AssistiveWare, the world leader in Accessibility solutions for Mac OS X, has just launched TextParrot, the 1st product of its new "ConvenienceWare" family, a set of innovative products designed by AssistiveWare to make advanced technologies available in cool and convenient applications and make the life of Mac users easier.
Relax and listen, through a smart interface.
TextParrot 1.0 is a multilingual speech solution for Mac OS X that allows users to listen to their documents with Acapela's natural sounding voices. Users can easily create their own personal podcasts or audio books by exporting to iPod-ready iTunes tracks. They can just use it to speak selected text in a handy reader window with play, fast forward and rewind functionality or listen to text by just pointing the cursor at the text and sit back and relax while TextParrot reads the text under the cursor.
Using Acapela text to speech, TextParrot literally converts any written text into speech, capable of transforming any type of information in real-time as flexibly as the human voice would do.
TextParrot has been developed in collaboration with Acapela Group and includes their naturally sounding, high quality voices in US English, UK English, French, German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, and Swedish. Other languages will be made available in the coming months. Note that these special ConvenienceWare voices will not work in other applications.
Let TextParrot speak for you!
Imagine... that you are a college student and want to review the online lecture or your notes during your lunch hour. Let TextParrot convert the text to iTunes and listen to it on your iPod while enjoying your sandwich.
Imagine... that you need to get a million and one things done in your office including reading that lengthy document. Let TextParrot read the text to you while you focus on those other tasks.
Imagine... that you are an actor and need to study your parts while in public transport or in your car. Use TextParrot to convert the text to iTunes and listen to it on your iPod or car stereo.
Imagine... that you are a teacher and have a student in your class failing on tests because he or she is a slow reader. Get the student a copy of TextParrot to read the material.
Discover TextParrot during the BETT on the AssistiveWare/Acapela booth www.bettshow.com, Booth SN17.
TextParrot is a universal binary and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
TextParrot is localized in English and French and other localizations are expected in January. For more information, a fully-functional downloadable demo and to listen to samples of the voices please consult the product page: www.convenienceware.com/textparrot.php
Designed for blind and vision impaired Mac users, VisioVoice adds multilingual support to Apple's excellent VoiceOver technology as well as provides a number of new speech and vision related features to enhance access to Mac OS X. VisioVoice is designed to remove visual barriers by making it possible for non-English vision impaired users to make use of Apple's VoiceOver while boosting access for all vision impaired users. VisioVoice will also enhance VoiceOver with the naturally sounding, high quality voices of the Acapela Group. A step ahead for AssistiveWare, who has already removed the physical barriers from Mac OS X with KeyStrokes, its virtual keyboard and with SwitchXS, its scanning on-screen keyboard and has taken away language and speech barriers with Proloquo, its multipurpose speech solution, also speech-enabled by Acapela. "Acapela high quality golden tones successfully speech enable Proloquo and open up the TTS multilingual choice for Mac OS X users. VisioVoice will naturally provide Acapela TTS as well, offering to the end user a perfect homogeneous voice persona through the entire speech-enabled interface." said David Niemeijer, AssistiveWares CTO. Bundled with VisioVoice, Acapela high quality voices actively contribute to improving accessibility for everyone, offering the most natural interface to users looking at speech technology as a daily tool and essential technology to keep communicating.
"Proloquo provides the first full-flegded speech solution for Mac OS X." says David Niemeijer, AssistiWare CTO. "Using Acapela text to speech, it combines the highest quality voices available on the market with powerful, yet easy to use features that serve a wide variety of needs." Multilingual speech feedback and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
AssistiveWare is the worldwide leader in innovative assistive technology software for Mac OS X. With the addition of Proloquo, AssistiveWare provides to end users a complete solution making daily life easier for thousands of people in the world, in the most natural way, whatever their disability. Proloquo can help people who cannot speak, improves accessibility for people with visual impairments or supports people with learning disabilities through Acapela's speech feedback. It can also be used as a talking processor, as a clip board reader for people who prefer listening to reading, as a pronunciation tool when learning foreign languages and last but not least, provides an advanced, multilingual speech engine for AssistiveWare's KeyStrokes® on-screen keyboard and SwitchXS® switch access solution.
"Proloquo provides the kind of augmentative communication I always hoped for." said Walter Pfrommer, medical adviser in a healthcare IT project. "Now, for the first time after I lost my own voice due to ALS/MND*, even new acquaintances and older persons understand me with ease. Without Proloquo for speech and KeyStrokes for typing, I would no longer be able to work!"
Integrated in Proloquo, Acapela high quality voices actively contributes to improve accessibility for everyone, offering the most natural interface to users looking at speech technology as a daily tool and essential technology to keep communicating.
Proloquo's suggested retail price is USD 299 or Euro 249, including High Quality and/or High Density Acapela voices for a language of choice. The languages currently include US English, UK English, German, Dutch, Flemish, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, and Brazilian Portuguese. Acapela voices for additional languages can be purchased as a language pack for USD 119 or 99 Euro.
*Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease
Speech synthesis gives a voice to your favourite screen reader. Either with female, male or kid voices, to give the say to your world of information.
Speech solutions help people with dyslexia & cognitive impairments to accomplish daily life tasks, assisting them in communication, education, work or recreational activities. Speech support help end users to operate with more autonomy, with increased self confidence using simple and user friendly interfaces.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions and communciators allow users with impairments or restrictions on the production or comprehension of spoken or written language to live and communicate with their environments with more autonomy. Acapela voices enrich AAC solutions & communicators turning any written words into spoken messages.