Google is working on an Android app called Relate to help people suffering from speech impairments. The app aims to help people with speech impairments communicate more easily with others and interact with Google Assistant.
As per the company, the app is made possible by over a million speech samples recorded by participants of the company’s research effort. The app is still under development and is not available to download as of now. The company is currently looking for English-speaking testers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States to try out the app and provide feedback.
As an early tester of Project Relate, people will be asked to record a set of phrases. The app will use these phrases to automatically learn how to better understand unique speech patterns, and give access to the app’s three main features: Listen, Repeat and Assistant.
The Listen feature on the app transcribes speech to text in real-time, so users can copy-paste text into other apps or let people read what they want to tell them.
Repeat feature restates what the user has said using a synthesized voice. This feature can be helpful in face-to-face conversation or even when a user wants to speak a command to a home assistant device. The Assistant feature lets users speak directly to Google Assistant from within the Relate app.
“In creating the app, we worked closely with many people with speech impairments, including Aubrie Lee, a brand manager at Google, whose speech is affected by muscular dystrophy. “I’m used to the look on people’s faces when they can’t understand what I’ve said,” Aubrie shared with us. “Project Relate can make the difference between a look of confusion and a friendly laugh of recognition.” Since Aubrie works on the marketing team that names new products, she also helped us name the app!” wrote Google in blog where it revealed the plans about the app.