Big Boost for Hearing Impaired Students
6 December 2011 at 10:50 am
People with hearing impairments could benefit greatly from a large Federal government investment in technology that converts live speech into text on tablets or laptops in seconds.
Sydney based technology company Ai-Media received $1.7 million to help commercialise its Ai-Live technology, which delivers real time speech captioning to laptops, tablets, iPads and other web-enabled devices.
Ai-Live is one of 23 Australian inventions to share in $10 million Commonwealth funding through the Commercialisation Australia program.
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator the Hon Jan McLucas said, "With this Australian Government grant, Ai-Live could become part of any classroom."
Ai-Live has already proved effective in pilot studies in New South Wales and Victorian schools and has now received an Australian Government grant of more than $1.7 million to help commercialise the system.
Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the fast, accurate speech-to-text technology could make a crucial difference in schools and workplaces for people with hearing difficulties.
"The best new products are those that directly help people and Ai-Live is a great example of this," Carr said.
"The technology has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life and opportunities for many Australians with hearing impairments."
Ai-Live allows quick delivery of accurate text by relaying audio to a remote trained operator who re-speaks, with punctuation, into special speech recognition software.