A while back I wrote about VocalID and how important it was for everyone to have their own unique voice. There are people throughout the world that cannot speak due to one reason or another who are stuck with voices that don’t suit them.
It was two years ago when I first saw the TEDTalk about VocalID talking about the need for voice donation. We don’t really think about donating a voice because it isn’t something flashed in front of us like blood, or organs but this is easy to do and takes very little time out of your day.
As a donor you set up an account with VocalID where you gain access to their online recording system. At home, with a microphone, you record yourself speaking sentences that pop up on the screen. Some are funny, others ridiculous, but they all have a purpose. Each word you bank builds upon the hundreds of words a Vocal recipient can say.
I’ll give you an example:
Sally is 24 and lives in Canada but can’t speak due to laryngeal cancer (simply put – cancer of the voice box). She uses a device where she types in what she wants to say and it speaks for her. Similar to Stephen Hawking, where he uses a synthesized male voice to speak. Since Sally’s a 24 year old woman she doesn’t want to sound like nor use the standard synthesized male voice. So, instead, she goes to VocalID where they match her with donors that may fit her age, sex, and location.
That’s where I (a donor) pop up on the list. She listens and selects my voice to be modulated/ synthesized to make her own unique voice. Now instead of hearing Microsoft Sam whenever she types out a sentence, you hear Sally’s voice made just for her.
Here’s a video just put out by VocalID which I think it a cute way of getting the point across. Enjoy! 🙂