More than 10 million people are voiceless and rely on text-to-speech devices to communicate. If you were to include the hundreds of millions of users who use virtual assistants like GPS units or screen readers, that number could be getting close to 500 million.
Enter VocaliD. Founded in May of 2014 and based in Belmont, Massachusetts, this voice company gives speaking machines new life by leveraging a proprietary voicebank and software to create unique vocal personas for text to speech devices. VocaliD raised over $129,000 with an IndieGoGO campaign to launch their BeSpoke voices system.
“gives speaking machines new life by leveraging a proprietary voicebank and software to create unique vocal personas for text to speech devices”
Their goal is to harness the far reaching diversity of human voice, and with 14,000 members from over 110 countries contributing upwards of 6 million sentences, they are making significant headway. In order to “Make every voice heard,” VocaliD considers it their lifelong mission to map the vocal genome.
VocaliD Founder, Rupal Patel, has been working with the voiceless for a few decades now, “Until now, the creation of synthetic voices began with auditioning a voice actor. They recorded speech in a professional studio for days or weeks. An army of engineers and linguists then spent three to four months laboring over the recordings to synthesize a voice. Digital voices were expensive and generic — until now. By crowdsourcing the collection of voices, anyone can record from the comfort of their own home. Share your voice with others, or bank it for yourself.”
In April of 2016, Saatchi & Saatchi produced a short promotional video for VocaliD that describes the need of the voiceless with the character “Goldivox”. The narrator concludes, “Your voice has the power to tell a story, and to help others tell theirs.”
Users can donate their voice with a sound recording. The software’s algorithms use data samples from that recording to find a speaker match in their Voicebank and then it blends vocal DNA with those recordings. As a result, a unique digital voice that preserves the match’s clarity is created. This method conveys a unique vocal identity much more successfully than the antiquated, robotic sounding alternatives.
You can add your voice to VocaliD’s Human Voicebank and share the gift of your voice at VocaliD.co and give voice to the voiceless.