Millions across the globe find it difficult to be understood when they speak. Medical conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injury can make it difficult for people to speak like they used to. This can make it difficult for people to understand what is being said, and this is especially true for digital assistants. The fact is that most digital devices have not been trained on a data set of diverse speakers that includes those with impaired speech. Google has taken a step to address this problem. 

Project Relate is a new Android app designed by Google to help speech impaired individuals communicate more effectively with people around them and with Google Assistant. The idea of helping these individuals has materialized after years of research by Google’s speech team and millions of voice samples submitted by test subjects. 

Google is now looking for English-speaking testers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to try out the app. The testers are expected to provide feedback to further improve the application. 

As an early tester of the app, Google will ask you to record a set of phrases that will help the app automatically learn how to understand the unique patterns of your speech. 

You will be given access to three main features of the app: listen, repeat, and assist. 

Listen: The listen feature transcribes your speech into text so that you can use it to let people read what you want them to know. 

Repeat: This feature repeats your statement in a clear voice and specifically benefits the user in face-to-face conversations. Repeat feature also comes handy while giving commands to your home assistant devices.  

Assist: This feature helps you speak to Google Assistant from within the app. You can ask to assist with tasks like playing a song or tuning the lights on. 

If you have a condition that makes it difficult for you to speak so that people can understand you, feel free to reach out to the Project Relate team by filling out the Google Project Relate Interest Form. Your participation can help millions of people communicate and be understood better.