MyVoice is a software tool developed by the research team at the Technical University in Liberec. It is distributed by Fugasoft company in Liberec. The tool enables motor-handicapped people a) to work with a PC, a) to be in contact with other people via internet, c) to study from home and d) even to control various home appliances. All these activities can be accomplished entirely hands-free by means of voice commands spoken to a microphone (wired or wireless) connected to a PC. The handicapped person does not need to use keyboard or mouse.
MyVoice was developed as response to multiple requests from the community of Czech handicapped people who knew about our previous research in speech technology area. The software was completed in 2005 within very short period (6 months) to give them the tool as fast as possible and hence the design and development was taken as an academic initiative without any grant support. Later, after the software has been acknowledged by its first users, the research team at the TU of Liberec received a large national grant that allows for further improvement of the software and for development of other voice-operated tools that can help Czech handicapped people. This new granted project is named "Assistance, information and communication services based on advanced voice technologyâ€œ and it has identification number 1QS108040569.
Description of target users and groups
Motor-handicapped people who cannot use their hands.
Description of the way to implement the initiative
The software is distributed by a small private company named Fugasoft that manages software upgrades and basic maintenance. The company sells the software mainly to end users (handicapped people). Several copies have been provided also to institutions that take care of handicapped people and to universities.
Technology choice: Proprietary technology
Main results, benefits and impacts
Some 50 handicapped person in Czechia already use it in their daily lives.
Return on investment
Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available
Track record of sharing
The software is one of the results of the Speechlab research team at the Technical university in Liberec. It has been publicised by the Czech TV as well as in magazines published by several societies of handicapped people. The authors (Prof. Jan Nouza and his team) were nominated for a Czech government award in 2006.
Even though some publicity was given to the MyVoice project, still not many Czech handicapped people know about it and about its potentiality. It would be very useful if Czech governmental as well as non-governmental institutions do more for dissemination of this information. Special courses for end-users, their assistants and also for teachers in schools for handicapped pupils seem to be one of the most important issues,