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An app to allow the deaf to phone. The 1st mobile app available worldwide that subtitles phone conversations in real time.
An app to allow the deaf to phone. Subtitles all phone conversations in real time. Worldwide.
An app to allow the deaf to phone. Subtitles all phone conversations in real time. Worldwide.
438 backers pledged $35,002 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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RogerVoice Phone engaging the world with the hard-of-hearing

$35,002

438

Français 

Funding goal reached! now let's go further!

We just rocketed past our Kickstarter goal! You guys are amazing.

It's been incredible. Simply incredible.

Thank you for believing in this project.

It took us one week to blast past our goal. We're now on the fast track to delivering an Android app into your hands. Coming soon to a Play Store near you!

And now what? We've still got three weeks to go !

Let's take this further than we imagined ! Let's go for STRETCH GOALS.

Stretch goals are what we can accomplish with extra funding beyond our initial goal. And believe us, there are many extra things we can add ! Here's the TWO most asked-for features, and what it will cost to get us there :

1. $40 000 = iOS !

Lots of you have asked for an iPhone app version of RogerVoice. Well, now we can make it happen! We will include specs for a specialised iOS build within our current scope, and submit it to Apple Developer program for acceptance. You've got an iPhone? Then tell your friends about RogerVoice and lets keep the RogerVoice project rocking.

2. $50 000 = Text-to-Speech !

There were many of you asking for the ability to respond by text. Indeed, some profoundly deaf people cannot express themselves orally. So we've got a solution coming: Text-to-Speech. This is the ability for a person to respond to a phone conversation by typing, and the text gets vocalised using speech synthesis, and the person on the other end of the line hears the response. That is a difficult challenge and very hard to implement. But I think you'll agree, it is so worth it !

Let's do it !

You've done so much already by backing the project. Now ask others to join! Share the project if you haven't yet. Talk about it to your school, work, or social group.

Thanks again. You are the best.

Français 

As featured in

What is RogerVoice?

RogerVoice has been designed from the ground up for people who cannot hear on the phone. Simply install the app on your smartphone or tablet, make a call using the application, and receive instant live text transcriptions, letting you read what your correspondent says. 

  • Get in touch - That feeling of being left aside, we've all been there. RogerVoice makes it easier for you to get in touch and take charge again. 
  • Never miss an opportunity again - No longer miss out on that job offer or that apartment listing, just because you couldn't call. Now you'll be ready when opportunity knocks. 
  • Connect with your community - Isolation is a hard fact of life for many people, especially seniors. By being able to understand phone conversations better, RogerVoice makes reaching out to friends and loved ones easier. 

Make Frustration A Thing Of The Past

No more waiting on others: take charge when it counts, now.

Now you have the ability to call a doctor when you need to. To call your plumber or your insurance company right away. And to set up your own appointments. 

RogerVoice counts most when you have no option but to call. 

Everyone can enjoy and benefit from RogerVoice's unique features. 

Being a bit more engaging with the hard-of-hearing 

  • Make deaf people around you feel like they belong 
  • Call your grandparents and make their day 
  • Make the world a friendlier place overall 

A Productivity Tool For Your Home And Office Too 

  • Automate - get instant written minutes of your phone calls 
  • Archive - store your conversations and reread them anytime 
  • Search - easily find specific keywords from your past conversations

Join The RogerVoice Community  

  • We believe individual potential should not be limited by perceived disabilities 
  • We believe accessibility benefits society as a whole 
  • We believe technology should be an enjoyable and liberating experience 

A Truly Independent Caption Phone 

  • Mobile - works on your device wherever you are, at home or away  
  • Multilingual - transcribes in your language. We cover most of the major spoken languages and accents in the world: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Greek, Japanese, and many more. 
  • Available - round-the-clock service, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. 
  • Private and confidential - calls are only between you and your correspondent, without any intermediaries. 

Technology For The 21st Century   

  • Wireless Connectivity - Designed to be Bluetooth compatible, the RogerVoice app connects directly to your Bluetooth-equipped hearing aid for an unmatched listening experience. 
  • Multi-device support - Smartphone, tablet, and desktop computers are all compatible with the RogerVoice app
  • Superior Voice Recognition - We've tested the leading market technology to provide you with the best possible speech-to-text software. 
  • Automated transcriptions - no human assistance or dependence on third-parties: you make your calls however you want. 

What has gone into RogerVoice is a blend of the latest available technology. Lightning quick data processing, quality call platforms, unmatched voice recognition servers, and a beautiful interface combine to make for an enjoyable user experience. 

Meeting your expectations

(Skip this part if tech talk bores you!)

Each technological aspect of our platform and interface has been the result of thorough experimentation and feedback. Polling was conducted over the course of more than a year, with multiple volunteers and representatives of associations for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. We weighed in all the pros and cons of different solutions to the problems that were expressed. To hone in on answering core needs.

We have made over 6 different prototypes, running the gamut from SMS-based transcriptions, to video-calls with subtitles, to voice-trained recognition systems. Over 4 different ASR providers have been tested for their accuracy, speed, and technological. We have put aside features that we considered not immediately feasible, for lack of time and ressources, in order to get the RogerVoice project out to you as soon as possible.

RogerVoice is a VoIP platform integrated with automatic speech recognition (ASR). If you have ever used Skype, Line, or Viber, you are already familiar with VoIP services. When you initiate a call, the information is routed over a data network, and a connection is initiated with a landline or cellular network in order to reach the number of the person you are trying to call. 

We have built our platform from the ground up, with open-source technologies to create our own custom-built back-end solution. A typical RogerVoice call goes through 8 different gateways from the start of the call to receiving the text transcription on your screen. Yet we reduce latency to a mere second or less. That's an astounding feat given the number of connections we handle during a call.  

Prerequisites:

  • Device: you will need to be equipped with an Android-compatible device: whether a smartphone or a tablet. 
  • Connectivity: you will need to connect your device to the Internet. Either by a cable, a Wifi network, or a wireless data plan with sufficient bandwith for uninterrupted Internet connectivity.  

Why are we delivering on Android? Android is currently the most widely adopted mobile app platform, and furthermore offers more flexibility for our current development. However, we will push for iOS and Windows compatibility as soon as our time and funds allow us. 

A perfect match of technology and need 

RogerVoice's technology uses automatic speech recognition (ASR). Voice recognition performs at its best when a persons speaks at a clear and articulate voice at a normal pace. That also happens to be the best manner to speak to a person with difficulty hearing. Pairing voice recognition with the needs of the hard-of-hearing results in a win-win situation: higher-than-expected transcription outputs for voice recognition technology, and better understanding of a conversation for the person with hearing loss. 

How can you make RogerVoice a success?

No one can make change happen by themselves. People are what make this happen. You are essential to making RogerVoice a success. Here are 3 reasons why:

  • Do it for yourself. Changing the way you experience the telephone - with the joy and the opportunities that come out of it - is what motivates us. 
  • Do it for your future. We have made this product from day one using your feedback, and we will only release it on the market if you are confident that RogerVoice is a solution that meets your needs.
  • Do it for your community. Get the word out in the community and be an ambassador for change. Too often the best initiatives fail, not because of an inherent flaw, but because too few people are aware of them. So let's get the word out! 

We need your help! It all started as a dream and now we're nearly ready to launch a project which we think you'll really love. We need one last push to get us over the hill to releasing our first app, and get it delivered to you.

Everyone can participate. Your support - at any level - is what keeps us motivated to continue with our project. 

What will we do with $20 000 ?

After securing our platform and conducting field tests, we're ready for the final phase of our development: getting it out to you. That consists in building the mobile app interface and user accounts on a VoIP platform. We have selected reliable outfits experienced in app build to work with us. We expect that phase to take two months. At the end of which we will submit the app for approval on an app store, so that you may download it immediately on your phones. 

And then what?

We're only just getting started. The RogerVoice Phone App is only the first iteration, with Speech-to-Text transcriptions as the major feature (and by far the most challenging one!). There are a LOT of other features that we will need to add in the coming months. But for lack of time and money we preferred to release a first version now, and continue to add to the technology as we go along and you continue to support us. 

Upcoming features on our roadmap include but are not limited to:

  • iOS and Windows compatibility: we're working hard to accelerate development and gather enough funds to get this step completed soon, so all devices can be compatible.
  • Text-to-Speech synthesis: for profoundly deaf people who do not talk, the ability to be able to respond to phone calls by typing will be revolutionary.
  • Video calls: you'll know if the person you are calling is angry, crying laughing, or smiling. Being able to see the person you are calling makes communication so much easier.
  • Inbound-calls: now you'll be able to call your deaf friends, without waiting for them to call you back with RogerVoice. 
  • Dedicated landline phone with screen: try telling seniors that a smartphone or tablet is intuitive... RogerVoice will work to make its service available on a standard functioning fixed-line phone with an adapted screen. 

We hope our first release matches your expectations. And with your continued support we will continue to implement additional features. 

Than you for supporting us.

Who's behind RogerVoice? 

Olivier has 8 years experience in business analysis and management in a telecom multinational, and in parallel has maintained an interest in NGOs and associations for disability awareness. A California native and graduate of UC Berkeley, Olivier loves all things that go 'whoosh' such as skiing, surfing, and bicycling. Olivier is profoundly deaf in both ears. 

Sidney is an experienced technology executive. After graduating from MIT with degrees in math and physics, Sidney studied engineering at the Ecole de Mines de Paris, and obtained his PhD. in quantum optics from the University Pierre et Marie Curie. Sidney quenches his thirst for knowledge by stacking up ever more improbable challenges. He juggles multiple projects as CTO and still finds time to travel and enjoy music. 

Already at age 26 Pablo successfully marketed and sold a mobile startup (MVNO) in Germany. And has since cumulated nearly ten years of experience in startups. An inveterate entrepreneur and outdoorsman, Pablo lives life to the fullest in San Francisco. 

And of course, there are the many many friends, advisors, mentors, supporters, and not to mention family, with whom we could not have even made it to here in the first place. Thank you.

Risks and challenges

TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUES: Once the project is successful, the funds will go to pay for an app development firm that we will have selected for their expertise. App build is a specialized domain, and we prefer to work with experts. Their estimation is for a two-month completion. However, as in all development work, there may be unforeseen delays and obstacles (we are confident our partners will deliver, but it happens!). We have identified other firms equally competent, in case we may need to ensure alternative development.

OPEN-SOURCE ALEAS: We use a mash of open-source technologies and APIs. At any time these technologies may cease to offer their services or convert to different models. Should this happen, we will need to find possible alternatives. This may take time and produce results that do not conform to expectations.

HUMAN STAYS ESSENTIAL: Over the past few years the exponential growth in computing power, coupled with the widespread availability of voice recognition technology, has significantly improved the accuracy of speech-to-text services. Voice recognition is a technology that has been around for decades. However, no machine will be able to replace the human ability to understand language. We expect users to make an effort to improve the chances of a successful transcription, by adapting their environment.

COMPETITION IS HEALTHY: Many other companies offer similar phone relay services on mobile. Either through human intermediaries, or through hybrid voice-recognition services. And may compete with RogerVoice’s niche service. They may have similar projects in the works, and/or may copy RogerVoice’s model. We cannot prevent this from happening. However, we are confident that we are ahead of the curve, with a technologically advanced offering. Coupled with an intrinsic understanding of your needs, our team’s skills and execution capabilities, we intend to stay on top of the game and earn your continued support.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes. If you would like to listen in on the conversation as well as read it, simply activate the loudspeaker mode. Alternatively, you can use a headset worn over your hearing aids.

    Last updated:
  • No, RogerVoice transcribes speech into text, but does not translate from one language to another.

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  • Yes. RogerVoice can be used to call worldwide. A fair-use policy is applied for excessive usage.

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  • We are 100% automated. Essentially, we don't use human intermediaries. Because of that: 

    It's scalable - there is no limit to the number of people who can download the software on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, anywhere in the world. 

    It's cheaper - there are no costs associated with training, hiring, and equipping call centers with specially trained operators to transcribe your calls. 

    It's private and confidential - no more feeling awkward talking with your loved ones on the phone. Or your doctor, lawyer, or client. Calls are only between you and your correspondent, no one else. 

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  • RogerVoice requires that you have a high-bandwidth Internet connection - whether by cable, 3G, or WiFi. Your choice of provider has no effect on RogerVoice's ability to function: just like any other VoIP app. 

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU. Millions of hard-of-hearing people worldwide will appreciate your kind gesture. Every step counts! You get to join our community of early backers and we will keep you updated on our exciting project.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    WALL OF FAME. Your generous donation for any amount at $25 or above will stay with us forever: we will put your name on our Wall of Fame online... AND just so you can tell all your friends about RogerVoice we will send you two bumper stickers with our cool logo.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FOUNDERS CLUB. Your awesome donation for any amount at $50 or more gets you our enthusiastic and heartfelt thanks. Get on our WALL OF FAME + 2 stickers + join the FOUNDERS CLUB: get involved with our project, get access to an online Q&A forum with the founders and get a founder's logo emblazoned forever next to your account username.

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    1 YEAR UNLIMITED CALLS AT NO CHARGE. Any donation at $59 or more gets you into the FOUNDER'S CLUB + make unlimited calls every month. Transcriptions are provided free. Early-bird promotion.

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    Pledge $72 or more About $72

    1 YEAR UNLIMITED CALLS AT NO CHARGE. Any donation at $72 or more gets you into the FOUNDER'S CLUB + make unlimited calls every month. Transcriptions are provided free. Early-bird promotion.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ROGER FOR TWO : 1 YEAR UNLIMITED CALLS AT NO CHARGE FOR YOURSELF AND A FRIEND. Any donation at $100 or more gets you into the FOUNDER'S CLUB + make unlimited calls every month for yourself and a friend. Make a gift for a friend. Unlimited calls every month. Transcriptions are provided free. Early-bird promotion.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    3-YEAR UNLIMITED CALLS AT NO CHARGE. Thank you for your generosity. Any donation at $200 or more gets you into the FOUNDER'S CLUB + make unlimited calls every month for the next 3 years. Transcriptions are provided free. Only on Kickstarter. Early-bird promotion.

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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    3-YEAR UNLIMITED CALLS AT NO CHARGE. Thank you for your generosity. Any donation at $220 or more gets you into the FOUNDER'S CLUB + make unlimited calls every month for the next 3 years. Transcriptions are provided free. Only on Kickstarter.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    AMBASSADOR. Wow. We would love to get to know you better and why you chose to support us with such a kind donation. Come spend an hour with the RogerVoice team and meet the founders. We are based in Paris. This is for any donation of $500 or above, and includes the 3-Year deal.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    BENEFACTOR. A truly astounding donation of $2000 or more can only make us believe that anything is possible now. We'd love to spend time with you and include you in on our project if you'd like. See how development is going on behind the scenes. Learn about how we're "hacking accessibility" in our startup. You'll be contacted directly by the founders to discuss how you'd like to get involved. We can meet you in France or in California on one of our trips. And of course, you'll get all of the other rewards listed.

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Funding period

- (30 days)