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On the eve of World Accessibility Awareness Day, which takes place on Thursday, May 18, Apple is unveiling some very useful new features. One will allow you to read text and make phone calls with your own voice reproduced almost identically.
With Assistive Access, iPhone and iPad users with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities will be able to connect with loved ones, view photos or even listen to music using an ultra-simplified menu . The experiences of the Camera, Photos, Music, Calls and Messages apps on the iPhone will however be reduced to their essential functions in order to ease the cognitive load of users. The interface will be easily customizable by relatives, depending on the user’s degree of disability.
For its part, Live Speech allows you to type on the keyboard what you want to say so that it is spoken aloud whether it is during phone calls, a FaceTime video or simply in front of someone. Standard sentences can even be recorded beforehand. This feature was designed to help people who are mute or have lost the ability to speak over time.
But Apple’s most spectacular announcement concerns Personal Voice. As its name suggests, this tool will allow you to customize your voice. The idea is to be able to create a synthetic voice as close as possible to one’s own, this service being aimed primarily at all those who risk losing their ability to speak correctly. Once perfectly trained, this new voice can be integrated into Live Speech, thus giving the illusion of hearing the user when he types his text.
Apple promises the arrival of these new software features later this year. All of these updates incorporate machine learning on the device, with data that will therefore never be shared.
Note that on Thursday, May 18, World Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple will launch SignTime in Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea. As a reminder, this is a service that connects Apple Store and Apple Support customers with sign language interpreters on demand.