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2016

Innovation Award

Speaksee

From

UNSW

Description

Speaksee is a kit of wearable bluetooth microphones that uses new insights into speech recognition technology to make conversation visual. For those who have profound hearing loss, Speaksee dramatically enhances speech comprehension by providing subtitles to group conversations in real time.

Key Design Features

01

Speaksee is an innovative use of existing technologies to solve the serious problem of late adult onset hearing loss in a new and more affordable way. Unlike cochlear implants which are expensive ($20,000 each) and require traumatic surgery, Speaksee enables those with hearing loss to be able to take part in group conversations by providing a real time text transcription. All that’s required is the purchase of a low cost Speaksee kit, that consists of 3 wearable bluetooth microphones and a charging dock. The kit is powered by a smartphone app which is a free download.

02

The world first insight that makes Speaksee unique, is an understanding of how to capture and transcribe speech more accurately. The fundamental challenge of the technology is background noise – it prevents the software from being able to ‘hear’ what is being said. This is why speech recognition apps commonly struggle in noisy environments.

Speaksee captures clearer audio by placing a microphone on the lapel of the person speaking (as is common practice in the broadcast industry), in combination with using ‘hypercardioid’ microphones to provide innovative new functionality.

03

Speaksee is a universal product. It’s designed to be used by the young and old alike. From the elegant and simple magnetic clasp that can be used by small hands or those with arthritis, to the simple, friendly and human forms and visual language of the device, Speaksee embraces simplicity and supreme functionality at the same time.

With transcription accuracy of up to 85%, the result is a low investment alternative to cochlear implants, lip reading or sign language, a new way for those who are hard of hearing to easily follow group conversations.

04

Because chat logs can be saved, reviewed and searched for later reference, Speaksee applies to a range of other markets as well, from providing trackable corporate meeting minutes, to documentary interview transcription, real time university lecture notes and more.

05

Speaksee is an environmentally and socially friendly product. It’s small and lightweight and uses existing bluetooth, microphone and battery technologies in new and innovative ways. The low impact ABS body snaps together and can be opened for repair or battery replacement.

Speaksee is designed to last many years, bringing joy to those who use it by breaking down the communication barriers caused by late adult hearing loss. Speaksee has the potential to prevent mental illness caused by a slow decline in the quality of human interaction between friends, families and loved ones – improving quality of life and potentially saving lives.

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