SPEECH APP ABOUT TO START A REVOLUTION
A smart-phone app that converts speech to text with astonishing accuracy is about to start a revolution for people with hearing and speech disabilities.
“TERA” is being launched worldwide, and has already been acclaimed in demonstrations in Norway and Sweden.
The key features of the app, developed by Swedish company T-Meeting, are its accuracy, speed and mobility. Instead of being tethered to a home or office with a fixed internet link, the user can take and make calls anywhere on their mobile device, giving them complete independence. It automatically converts speech on an incoming call into text on the smartphone screen, or allows people with speech difficulties to type what they want to say and converts that into a natural voice for the person they’re calling.
TERA is based on artificial intelligence and is the product of four years of research and development. The system will require a government-funded license. “We’re bringing a revolution to communication,” T-Meeting chairman Max Tairi said. “We’ve just begun to understand the breadth of what we’ve set in motion. This is a world-leading use of digitization. “We’re putting hearing-impaired, speech-impaired, deaf and visually impaired communities on the same footing as everyone else.”
TERA allows users to make and receive calls without having to go through a telephone relay service and provides a high level of security. The people they are talking to use any type of telephone they wish. “TERA simplifies our everyday life immensely - I look forward to using this technique”, said Arne Lorentzon, president of the Association of the Swedish Deafblind, FSDB in Skåne.
TERA will be offered in Sweden by county councils, the Employment Service and Social Insurance. In other countries it may be offered through state equipment distribution programs, employment services, disability support agencies and similar organizations. While 160 countries were signed up to the United Nations International Convention on the Rights of People as at late 2016, only half have phone relay services, and TERA will provide an economic alternative. See:
T-Meeting is the world leader in Total Conversation (audio, video and real-time text). It’s headquarters are in the southern Swedish city of Malmö. Its hallmark is constant innovation with the user’s needs as the central focus. TMeeting’s software products run on mass-market devices for people who are Deaf or who have communications disabilities have helped thousands of people around the world for many years. The company also provides multi-media telemedicine solutions accessible by all.
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