Rocketeers build an app to help 2.5 million Americans with speech impairments

With three hours on your hands, you could:

A) Catch up on Game of Thrones

B) Refresh Facebook 300 times

C) Help change 2.5 million lives

The Human Voicebank, our winning Rocket Science team, chose to spend their 24 hours making those three hours a crisp, enjoyable user experience so you’d want to pick C.

Jason Osburn, Director of UX/Product Innovation for AWE, was inspired to pull his team together after hearing Dr. Rupal Patel of Northeastern University deliver a talk on her foundation VocaliD.

Patel’s goal with VocaliD is to provide those with severe speech impairments the chance to sound like themselves again (or for the first time). By combining patterns from the host’s own vocal cords and speech elements from donated recordings, VocaliD develops a unique vocal identity for applicants.

With no comprehensive databank to collect donated recordings and no dedicated platform to funnel those donations to Patel’s team, the process takes a significant amount of effort.

Osburn and his team of designers, developers, and quality assurance experts worked to build an app that lets users read, record, and upload over 1,000 sentences to donate to VocaliD.

“We are so grateful to Jason and his team at Bottle Rocket for working with VocaliD and The Human Voicebank to build a simple, elegant and functional voice recording app. We were simply blown away by what they accomplished in 24 hours and how spot on it was for launching our mobile voice drive!” Dr. Patel said.

After Rocket Science, The Human Voicebank won the overall prize for “Magnificent Success” for not only building a complete app, but also building an app that can help change lives.

Watch the video below for more insight into how The Human Voicebank was built and what team members had to say about the project: