With Speech Disabilities To Speak Using Their Own Voice
Voiceitt (Technologies of Voice Interface, Ltd), a developer of innovative speech translation technology for people with speech disabilities, recently closed $2 million in funding, advised, structured, and primarily placed by investment banking firm Cahn Capital Corp. in NY, with leading investors including AMIT Technion, the venture arm of the Technion, Cahn Capital Corp., Quake Capital Partners, Dreamit Ventures, Buffalo Angels, and various individual investors. Based in Ramat Gan, Israel, Voiceitt has expanded its staff to 12 employees with 11 in Israel and one in Buffalo, NY. Voiceitt’s speech technology is currently in beta testing and the initial version of its app is expected to be ready for market early next year with an enhanced version is in development for release expected a year later.
Voiceitt’s patented assistive speech technology translates unintelligible voice sounds into clear speech in real time, effectively giving speech disabled users the ability to speak normally using their own voice. The initial version of Voiceitt’s app allows each user to create a custom library of words and short phrases which Voiceitt’s speech recognition algorithm instantly translates and outputs into normalized speech. The enhanced version of the app, in development for later release, will cater to specific languages and have English and Hebrew as its first two languages with Spanish and Catalan to follow.
Voiceitt was co-founded in 2012 by CEO Danny Weissberg and CTO Stas Tiomkin. Mr. Weissberg was inspired to come up with the idea after his grandmother had a stroke and had serious difficulty in verbal communication. Realizing the profound impact of losing the ability to communicate naturally, he researched the issue and recognized the huge worldwide potential market for voice assistive technology for those with speech handicaps. Voiceitt’s speech technology can also function as an accessibility extension for all the major voice enabled technologies such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc. which were designed for standard speech input and generally inaccessible for millions of users with non-standard speech, whether because of speech impairments or strong accents.
In the past year, Voiceitt has been awarded a $500,000 equity grant from 43 North, funded by the New York Power Authority and the Empire State Economic Development Fund, and a $900,000 grant from the BIRD Foundation (Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation) fostering Israel/US technical development, shared equally with SCJ Associates of Rochester, NY, to co-develop a wearable necklace assistive speech device. Voiceitt also has received approximately $500,000 in funding from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). Voiceitt was featured and presented at the March 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC