For individuals diagnosed with speech or language disorders – resulting from ALS or other conditions such as aphasia, dysarthria or apraxia – capturing the essence of their voice before losing it is a crucial step in preserving their identity.
Voice banking in your language
My-own-voice offers end users the possibility to keep speaking and communicating, not only by using speech synthesis as a voice companion, but also by using their own voice, synthetically re-created, helping to fully maintain the user’s identity. My-own-voice can already be performed in up to 10 languages and new languages will regularly be added.
My-own-voice creates a synthetic voice, very much like the user’s own, that can be employed with an assistive device to read any sentence, keeping the essence of the original voice in terms of timbre, accent and intonation.
For individuals who have already lost their voice, they can ask a family member, a close relative or a friend, to donate their voice, offering the possibility to the end user to speak with a voice that sounds familiar and unique.
Meet Eric and Garmt, pioneers of ‘my-own-voice’.
Eric and Garmt have both been diagnosed with ALS. They have decided to create their own synthetic voice and hace participated as pioneers on the first ‘my-own-voice’ experiences.
Learn more about them and hear voice samples.
Meet Peter, Multilingual user of my-own-voice
Multilingual father and businessman records voice when cancer threatens to take it away.
Peter was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. When he learned he would require a surgery in December that would remove his tongue and potentially his vocal cords, he took proactive steps to ensure he would not lose his ability to communicate and recorded its voice with ‘my-own-voice’ in 3 languages. Learn more about Peter.
Create a voice with the my-own-voice service
My-own-voice is a web service created to make it easy for anyone to create a synthetic voice, with the support of a speech therapist. The service can be used without any particular knowledge and equipment, besides a computer, a headset and an internet connection
The service presents the user with about 1500 sentences that the user needs to record into the system. These sentences will then be processed and used to create the text-to-speech voice.
Use your own voice in your favourite application
Once the synthetic voice has been created it can be used for free in a type&talk box on the website, or it can be purchased for use with SAPI on Windows, with Google TTS API on Android, or in a partner application.
Please note that, at an initial stage, the service is free until you decide to use the voice in a specific application, giving you the possibility to test and verify the quality of the voice, or even re-record it, before purchasing anything.
The recording process is web-based and has been adapted to make it accessible to anyone, free from all the technical difficulties usually handled by a professional recording studio. The use of a headset will be enough to guarantee good quality. The script has also been adapted, shortened and simplified to make sure that all users can record their voices, taking into account the difficulties and tiredness they may experience during the recordings.
Apply for my-own-voice
Do you want to create your voice? Please use the Contact Us form and provide us with some background information about yourself – why do you want to create your own voice and how would you like to use the voice? We’ll get back to you with login information so you can access the service and start your free recording.
my-own-voice is the first step towards preserving your voice and maintaining the ability to communicate with this essential part of your identity.
We know that what you need to most fully benefit from ‘my-own-voice’ is a supportive environment provided by committed professionals and adapted, responsive technology. That’s what we are working on with our partners.
Supporting ALS research
To reinforce our dedication to speech impaired users, Acapela Group is supporting Project MinE with a donation of 5% of the ‘my-own-voice’ revenues to help them reach their objective to map the full DNA profiles of 15,000 people with ALS, to perform comparative analyses on the resulting data, understand the genetic basis of ALS and better fight this neuromuscular disease. More information about Project MinE: http://www.projectmine.com/
Look at TechKnow – Al Jazeera report featuring ‘my-own-voice’
Giving a voice to speechless: our voice banking solution ‘my-own-voice’ is featured in Al Jazeera’s Science show TechKnow that shares stories ‘at the intersection of hardware and humanity’.
Thank you Maggie Mahoney, from Grasp Assistive Technologies.