Virtual assistants within smart devices, such as Amazon Alexa, provide solutions for people with limited movement, low vision, and other types of disabilities. But speech impairments can prevent smart home devices from recognizing voice commands. Older adults have a high risk of speech impairment, often resulting from stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, or head injuries.

Voiceitt is a speech-recognition app that helps people with atypical speech communicate. It can now integrate with Alexa, allowing users with unintelligible speech to access all voice-activated features. Voiceitt uses advanced algorithms and an extensive voice database to recognize speech automatically. The app also analyzes individual breathing, pausing, and slurring patterns, making its recognition capabilities highly personalized.

Voiceitt developed the Alexa integration through a pilot program conducted in a long-term care community for wheelchair users. The pilot focused on helping residents with cerebral palsy or atypical speech perform daily tasks, navigate their environment, and control lights, TVs, and other devices.

Voiceitt’s intuitive app makes onboarding and customization easy for people with limited dexterity and mobility. Combining it with Alexa’s assistive capabilities expands the reach of both technologies. Individuals can benefit from using Voiceitt with Alexa in various settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and eldercare facilities, as well as smart-enabled homes.

Now available to all consumers, Voiceitt for Alexa will help improve independence and safety for older adults and others with disabilities that cause atypical speech. In addition, making Alexa usable for this demographic may reduce the need for human caregivers and support social distancing. At the same time, people can use the app to ask Alexa to send messages and make calls, making it easier to stay in touch with loved ones during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.