Google introduces Look to Speak app [Video]


  • Google launches Look to Speak, an app that primarily aims to help individuals with motor and speech impairments.
  • Through their mobile phones, users just need to use their eyes to select prewritten phrases that would be spoken by their device.
  • The phrases can be personalized as users can hear their own voices.

In the pursuit to make an efficient communication tool for people with motor and speech impairments, Google launches its new experimental Android app called Look to Speak last week.

With the use of their eyes, users, through the help of the Look to Speak app, can pick prewritten phrases on their device screens that will automatically be pronounced. The app is free of charge for download and is compatible with Android 9.0 and above.

A renowned speech specialist and language therapist at Google, Richard Cave helps people who are suffering from speech and motor impairments. He particularly wants to help non-verbal individuals and those who need further assistance.

“It’s more than a job for me, it’s a passion,” Cave said in a blog post upon the app’s debut.

“Every day, I strive to help people find easier and more accessible ways to express their everyday needs, opinions, feelings and identity.”

Look to speak is made to work on smartphones. To basically use the app, a user needs to position his or her device slightly below eye level. A list of phrases is set to appear, where the user can choose from through his or her eye direction. The selected phrase will then be spoken aloud.

Cave said that the phrases can be personalized so users can record and share their own voices. The app’s setup helper menu, though, needs manual tapping since it cannot be accessed using the eyes.

Google said that all data stored in the app would be kept private and only available on the user’s designated phone.

An app from ‘Experiments with Google’ platform, Look to Speak was among the company’s projects for ‘Google’s Start With One.’ The program aims to kickstart something with the help of an individual, that would eventually be impacting a group of people or community.

According to Cave, the initiative coordinated with individuals who were potential benefactors. They found that the app can be useful for occasions where users are in transit, in the shower, doing outdoor activities and other applicable situations.

“Now conversations can more easily happen where before there might have been silence, and I’m excited to hear some of them,” he said.

Source: The Verge

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