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The App that Speaks for Those Who Can't


Michael Bond recalls the frustration that he felt after visiting his grandmother who had just had a stroke. He remembers a moment in which his family had to think about the best way to communicate, with someone so dear to them, who no longer had the ability to speak. Bond, Founder, and CEO of Spoken explains the disappointment he felt with the apps available to people, like his grandmother, who no longer had the ability to speak. The current apps are used to make simple requests and answer simple questions but failed to cater to an individual’s specific needs.

Tremendous progress in technological solutions is emerging, for almost every aspect of life. However, options in technology for people who still have full functioning mental capacities but cannot speak, remain limited. Hence, the Spoken team set out to create a predictive speech app that would use machine learning techniques to adapt to an individual’s way of speaking. Based on algorithms that come from years of academic research and its predictive speech technologies, the implementation of the app provides an opportunity to gather data from all its users, increasing the accuracy of the app every time it is used. Bond and his team developed and tested the Spoken app to similar technologies, including the custom prediction engine Intel® built for Stephen Hawking.

The Spoken app stands out in catering to the population that speak other languages apart from English. The feature made it possible for the app to win first place at the Start-Up Chile Demo day in South America. Bond is using the money for the initial stages of funding.

Currently, the spoken team is working with Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Towards Sustainability (LIGHTS), to improve its marketing strategy, in preparation for the launch of the app later this year, as well as identify funding and business opportunities.

For more information visit: https://medium.com/@spokenaac/introducing-spoken-predictive-speech-app-e6a6f145e22b

About LIGHTS: Ohio University's Innovation Center founded the LIGHTS (Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability) program in 2016. LIGHTS' Innovation Network catalyzes the creation of companies to create high-wage jobs, and attract greater private investment in the coal-impacted regions of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The Appalachian Regional Commission generously funded the program because of its unique way of matching complex problems and opportunities facing corporations, communities, and individuals to a network of two strategically-placed Innovation Hubs and seven Gateways. New marketable products arise from these problems. The Gateways and Hubs are new business incubators and makerspaces serving a 28-county area.

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