Why speech interfaces are the future of assistive technology

At SpeechAngel, we’re enabling people by giving them power through their voice.

This is an article by Professor Teixeira at the university Aveiro on the importance of speech interfaces when dealing with mobility limitations: 00b7d5182a5bea156b000000-2

It’s a fantastic insight into how this technology can help change millions of lives.

Here’s a quick summation to get you started


Speech as the basic interface for Assistive technology

Background information

  • About 50 million people (10% of todays European Union – EU population) are disabled.
  • 1% present at least one type of impairment.
  • 6% = mobility impairment.
  • 4% = cerebral palsy.
  • Number of elderly people aged from 65 to 80 will rise by nearly 40% between 2010 and 2030 in the EU.
  • The group of people over 80 will almost double by 2050.


State of Assistive Technology

In Europe

  • European commission is making a 1 billion dollar investment R&D.
  • HERMES (cognitive care and guidance for active aging).
  • The CompanionAble (Integrated cognitive assistive and domestic companion robotic system for ability and security).
  • WWAAC – The World Wide Augmentative and Alternative communication Project.
  • Handicom (provides several devices ranging from single-handed keyboards, Bliss language processes or sign language software.
  • Tobii (Sweden based. Specialised in AAS devices).
  • VOCA (voice output communication aids).
  • Microsoft provides an AT program.


In Portugal

  • AT is more orientated to visually impaired people, since they represent the larger group of disabled people.
  • CIDEF – Robobraille project,
  • FCT- funded project: Ubiquitous Web Access for visually Impaired People (VIP-ACCESS)
  • Electrosertec: leading company in Portugal providing all types of AT to visually impaired people.
  • Vodaphone Portugal: Vodaphone Say
  • B-Live (home automation infrastructure)
  • CARL (intelligent robot)


The Importance of Speech Interfaces in Assistive Technology

  • Speech is the easiest and most natural way for human-human and human-machine interaction.
  • Therefore interfaces must be speech-based
  • The end-users of these solutions are not only visually impaired people, but also individuals with severe speech disabilities and the elderly.

STATUS QUO (Portugal)

Problems for Speech

  1. Speech is an interesting interface but can only be secondary.
  2. Speech interfaces don’t have an appealing market.
  3. Speech technology is not useable.
  4. We already have the necessary speech technology.


Potential for Speech

  1. Speech can be the only interface with AT.
  2. The market in AT is growing.
  3. Voice output communication aids.
  4. Speech recognition in writing.
  • Speech Synthesis in reading, writing.
  1. Speech training methods and devices.
  2. Processing of speech in cochlea implants.



The following actions are required

  • To personalise the communication aid devices to SSPI.
  • To adapt and expand state-of-the-art speech technology in European Portuguese to SSPI.
  • To conduct multidisciplinary work on the requirements, development and evaluation regarding the real use of speech technologies.
  • To develop prototypes.
  • To enhance the communication competence and quality of life for affected individuals.


Best wishes,

The SpeechAngel Team.

SpeechAngel is now a Berliner!

We are happy to announce that, since February, SpeechAngel has officially expanded to another big European city, this time in Germany. Our newest office, located in Berlin, gives us the opportunity to meet even more people who need SpeechAngel for their everyday activities and allows us to help and connect directly with the society of immobilized people in Germany. Please follow SpeechAngel updates!

Best wishes,

The SpeechAngel Team.

SpeechAngel in Polish Media


We are pleased to announce that our mobile application will be more and more visible in the societies of immobilized people in Poland. The main monthly magazine “Filantrop” had published in the newest issue article about us and our work.

We want to give a hope and more independence to immobilized people!

Please follow us on Facebook: SpeechAngel and Twetter: @speechangels

Please read the free magazine here, page 46:

Filantrop issue November 2015


In Polish:

Mamy niezmierną przyjemność poinformować, że świeżo opublikowany został artykuł o naszej aplikacji w ogólnopolskim miesięczniku dla osób niepełnosprawnych “Filantrop”. Cieszymy się, że nasza praca, którą wkładamy w stworzenie tego projektu dotrze do coraz szerszego grona odbiorców.
Wierzymy, że dzięki tej aplikacji wiele osób stanie się bardziej samodzielne i niezależne!
Czekamy na Państwa opinie, rady i zapraszamy do odwiedzania naszego profilu na Facebooku: SpeechAngel i Twetterze: @speechangels

Przeczytaj artykuł na stronie 46 o naszym projekcie:

Wydanie listopadowe Filantropa 2015


Best wishes,

The SpeechAngel Team.

EU-XCEL 2015 Final in Ireland

We were lucky & honored to be part of the EUXCEL Challenge Final in Cork, Ireland. Although we didn’t win the contest, it was a great experience, and the best occasion for the creation of SpeechAngel.
Every end is a new beginning and we will keep going!


Best wishes,

The SpeechAngel Team.

We got to the Grand Challenge Final of EU-XCEL 2015!

We are very happy to announce that SpeechAngel got to the finals in EU-XCEL competition from 50 teams! That’s already distinction overall, but now we need to focus on details and do all best to perfectly present our idea.
We believe that this meeting in Cork, Ireland will bring us motivation to continue development of our project! Second meeting of our members will be for sure very exciting and full of brainstorming.

Please, hold fingers crossed on us and follow on Facebook: SpeechAngel or support on Indiegogo campaign: Indiegogo SpeechAngel.


Best wishes,

The SpeechAngel Team.

Questionnaire for immobilized people

We have created a questionnaire for people who are or have been immobilized a certain part of their life. Your feedback can help us get more insight into what is the best possible way to provide support to those in need.

EN – English questionnaire

DE – Deutsch-Fragebogen

SP – Cuestionario español

PL – Polski kwestionariusz

HU – Magyar kérdőív

GR – Ελληνικό ερωτηματολόγιο

Best wishes,

The SpeechAngel Team.