Intuary, a mobile app startup, recently launched its first app, called Verbally, which is designed to bring speech to those without. Verbally (free, iPad, iOS version 3.2 or higher) is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution built for the more than six million people in the U.S. suffering from speech disabilities — caused by Lou Gherig’s Disease, stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, autism, and more. The app allows users to tap the words they wish to communicate onto the app’s keyboard, or choose from pre-prepared words or phrases, which are then in turn transmitted into audio phrases.
The app’s founders, Anil, Gautam Godhwani, along with their cousin Ajay, lost their mother (and aunt) to Lou Gehrig’s Disease in February of this year. She had been a music teacher and singer for 40 years, but in late 2009, her voice began to fail. Seeing the tremendous impact the lack of communication had her, they began investigating solutions on the market. While there are a number of solutions currently available, the touchscreen solutions from large corporations, like Dynavox-Mayer Johnson, cost a minimum of $8K and require at least one month of waiting. Obviously, for those suffering from aggressive illnesses, that wait time is unacceptable.
Verbally hopes to offer a user experience that will appeal to literate adults with high cognition — as well as to those without, and thus reach a larger audience.
As such, the app offers a full keyboard in which to type the speech the user wishes to communicate, as well as a “Core Words Grid”, which offers over 50 essential words, designed to save users with less mobility 50 percent of the taps required to input sentences.
Core Words Grid offers over 50 essential words, which can save you over 50% of the taps required to input your sentences. Core Phrases Grid offers a dozen common phrases to enable faster & easier conversation. Text Prediction that learns the words & names you use and makes entering your thoughts significantly faster than typing. Three Keyboard Layouts so that you can find the one that’s best for you. Choice of Male or Female Voices. No WiFi or 3G connection required. All designed to minimize keystrokes and maximize ease, speed, and choice.