Innovation from India Gives Speech Disabilities a Voice
Chennai, India-based Invention Labs has created a multilingual augmentative and alternative communication ipad app, Avaz (voice) for people with speech disabilities. It is priced at $200 in the U.S. and $100 in India.
“Until the launch of Avaz, all augmentative and alternative communication devices available in the U.S. were monolingual. The U.S. has a large Spanish speaking and Asian population so the product was a natural fit for them. Even today, there is nothing in the market that is as easy to use as Avaz,” says Lucas Steuber, a speech pathologist and co-founder and development director, Aim High Ignite.
About 35,000 children with varying degrees of speech dysfunction use this app, with more than 60% of them in the U.S., 15% in Denmark, 10% in India and the rest spread across the world, reports Outlook Business.
Based on feedback from therapists that students using this app were able to articulate one word only and not a sentence, Invention Labs created FreeSpeech in which a computer generates the language and helps users communicate in complex sentences. Priced at $10 for the overseas market and $3 in India, this app is more immersive claims CEO Ajit Narayanan, who adds, “We got into this business to give children who had speech disabilities a voice. We have used technology to cater to a larger audience and solve the problem of learning a language, helping people achieve a better standard of living. Language is the best thing that we humans have created. It entertains, enlightens and most importantly empowers.”