Communion Of Dreams

Bank your voice.

A somewhat related item on NPR this morning reminded me of an idea I had a while back. The gist of it:

Come up with a simple computer/smartphone app which would contain a few hundred basic words which you just read aloud and record. Save the file, and later it could be used for basic communication should you not have direct use of your voice for whatever reason.

Speech scientists/therapists could compile the standard list of words (for whatever language), perhaps with “expansion packs” of additional words some people might want to also record. When you have a few free minutes, you just run down the list, say a few words and save it. Then later you could use something like a standard text-message app to compose the words into sentences for ease of communication, and the app would just plug your recorded words into place.

It wouldn’t have the normal sort of nuance of inflection that comes with natural speech (though there may be a simple way around that — I’m not knowledgeable enough to know), but at least it would be in your own voice.

Who would use such a thing? Well, all of us face temporary or permanent loss of our voice throughout our lives, for all kinds of reasons. So there’s that. But I could also see uses where the app could be mated with any email or texting use, so that the recipient could directly hear you “talking” to them with it. I would think that it would have all kinds of uses beyond that, as well.

Just a thought.  If someone wants to come up with such a thing, cut me in for a percentage, will you?

Jim Downey

PS: Hmm, I may have to incorporate this kind of tech into St Cybi’s Well. I can think of a few ways it could be useful …

PPS: Following posting this, I contacted one of the speech scientists mentioned in the NPR program this morning, Dr. Rupal Patel. And while it isn’t exactly the same sort of thing I envision, she did share with me the effort she is involved with, which has an app currently in beta testing: Looks like a very worthwhile endeavor, check it out and ‘donate’ your voice.