An application developed by students of computer engineering at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) allows those who have limitations in voice to communicate effectively in their daily lives, was announced today.
Six students in the third year of FCTUC’s degree in computer engineering have created the ‘clave de fala’ application, which aims to “enable limited voice people to communicate effectively in their daily lives,” says the faculty.
André Correia, António Eloi, Cláudio Gomes, Joana Lameiras, Pedro Silva and Telma Portugal are the authors of the app that, as of Wednesday, can be “downloaded for free in the Play Store, in this phase, in the Android version”, says the FCTUC.
The ‘key to speech’ was created within the scope of the Management and Innovation Processes (PGI), a curricular unit of the course, and “the idea arose precisely because one of the members of the group has a hearing problem and already” felt on the skin “some embarrassment in communication,”explains the inventors of the application.
Things as simple as “going to the pharmacy to get a flu medicine can be a complicated task,” say the creators of the app, quoted by FCTUC.
Often, they continue, “because of their communication difficulties, the limited voice people, people with limitations in phonation, tend to isolate themselves. Therefore, our mission is to help”, through this application, which gives “a new voice to those who need it most “and thus” promotes inclusion. ”
Intuitive, practical, fast and user-friendly are some of the characteristics of this new application, divided into six categories – health, transport, rights, food, shopping and directions, explains FCTUC.
Each of these categories “generates quick phrases according to the needs of the user, not needing to write”, but “at any moment, the phrase can be edited”, says the faculty, noting that the application “also has an option to transform the text in voice message “.
On the other hand, FCTUC students emphasize, “the application has a backend that continuously learns the user’s profile and actions, in order to suggest the best possible phrase at any time.”
The process of developing the ‘clave de fala’ was supported by the Portuguese Association of Limited Voice (APLVoz).
“It was essential to listen to APLVoz. We understood better the real needs of these people and allowed to provide the application with the most appropriate answers,” they point out.
In order for the application to be improved, the authors will place the code (software) in the public domain. Thus, conclude the app’s creators, “other students, researchers or simply people with curiosity and willingness to help will be able to contribute to this social project.”