In a pioneering effort to bring forth positive change through technology, Dutch AI startup Whispp is making waves in the assistive voice technology space. Recently securing a €750,000 seed funding round led by LUMO Labs, the company is on a mission to provide a voice to those affected by speech impediments caused by conditions such as stuttering, throat cancer, vocal cord paralysis, and ALS.
Assistive Voice Technology for Enhanced Communication
Whispp’s proprietary technology utilizes assistive voice technology to transform speech affected by various ailments into the individual’s original, natural voice. Targeting conditions like stuttering, throat cancer, and ALS that collectively impact over 300 million people globally, Whispp’s approach involves using recordings of a person’s healthy voice to modify their real-time, affected speech. This unique method ensures clarity by incorporating intended intonation, modulation, and emotion.
For individuals who still possess a natural voice but experience speech impediments, such as stuttering, Whispp provides a solution through its app. Users can record their current speech, and the technology bridges the gap between the affected speech and the desired natural voice.
Innovation Recognized at CES 2024
Whispp’s commitment to transformative technology has been acknowledged with its selection as a CES 2024 Innovation Award honoree. The startup‘s innovative approach sets it apart in the realm of assistive voice technology, signaling its potential for significant impact.
Eliminating Barriers with Real-time Audio-to-Audio Transformation
Whispp distinguishes itself by adopting an audio-to-audio-based approach, eliminating the typical latency of 2-3 seconds associated with text-to-speech technologies. This real-time transformation minimizes communication barriers, ensuring a seamless and natural exchange.
The technology also takes into account the neurological changes in the speech system for certain voice and speech disorders, allowing deliberate steering of the voice toward whispering when beneficial.
Expanding Reach and Inclusivity
With the recent seed funding, Whispp aims to launch its assistive voice technology and introduce its first paid and subscription-based calling app. The funds will also facilitate expansion into European and U.S. markets, marking a step toward making assistive voice technology more widely accessible to all those in need.
Whispp envisions a future where its assistive voice technology becomes ubiquitous, available on every smartphone and laptop worldwide. The goal is to create a more inclusive world by collaborating with network operators and tech companies, leveraging the expertise gained through the partnership with LUMO Labs.
Tech for Good: Enhancing Communication and Connection
Founded back in 2019 by Joris Castermans and Akash Raj, Whispp embodies the positive social impact that technology can have on individuals around the world. Beyond its technological prowess, Whispp’s mission aligns with enhancing human communication, fostering connection, and contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As technology’s impact continues to be scrutinized, Whispp stands as an exemplary case of utilizing AI voice technology for the betterment of individuals, emphasizing the potential to significantly improve the lives of those facing speech-related challenges.