Google releases Project Relate, a voice recognition app for people with speech impairments
To help people with speech impairment communicate more easily with Google Assistant and other people, Google has announced a new Android app called Project Relate.
As Google notes in a blog post, there are millions of people out there whose speech has been affected due to conditions like ALS, Cerebral Palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, or Parkinson’s disease. As a result, these people often face difficulty being understood by other people and voice recognition services. The Project Relate app, currently in beta, aims to tackle these challenges. The app has three main features: Listen, Repeat, and Assistant.
- Listen: Through the Listen feature, the Relate app transcribes your speech to text in real-time, so you can copy-paste the text into other apps, or let people read what you want to tell them.
- Repeat: You can use the Repeat feature to restate what you’ve said using a clear, synthesized voice. We hope this can be especially helpful in face-to-face conversation or even when you want to speak a command to your home assistant device.
- Assistant: Speak directly to your Google Assistant from within the Relate app, so you can take care of different tasks, such as turning on the lights or playing a song, with ease.
Google is currently looking for English speakers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US to try out the app and receive feedback. Testers will be asked to record 500 phrases, which will be used to better understand the user’s unique speech patterns and give access to the above features.
Google says for creating the app, it worked closely with many people with speech impairments, including Aubrie Lee, a brand manager at Google, whose speech is affected by muscular dystrophy.
Project Relate builds upon the efforts and research of Project Euphonia, a broad effort from Google’s Speech and Research teams to make voice recognition technology more accessible to people with speech impairment.
If you have a speech impairment and want to help make the app better, you can sign up as a volunteer by filling out this form.