It was quite harmless: Our dogs befriended each other. That’s why we, as their humans, also started talking.
As a tourism marketeer and a software architect, it didn’t take long until we talked about the benefits and usability of mobile technology. And about which of them are really helpful. Which actually solve a worldwide problem. And at the same time have a social, sustainable and meaningful effect.
What began as a thought game “Something like this should be developed” led to initial research. And became more and more tangible at the daily meetings in the doggie park.
We quickly found the problem that is worth solving:
Information is available 96% only in written form – everywhere in the world. This has not changed in the last 500 years, when the printing press was invented. Despite all technological progress.
But even today, almost half of people cannot access written information. Due to age, reading difficulties, language problems, visual or cognitive impairments.
We found the suitable solution in the 2-sense principle. A talking data code, i.e. a speech code. Because a read-aloud function would make access possible also for those, who cannot read.
Such an information 4.0 – text AND speech – would significantly increase the range of any information.
A promising business plan and our vision “2-senses principle as worldwide standard” convinced two investors. They supported the experimental development of the planned solution and its market entry.
Three years later SpeechCode was on the market: Organisations of the blind, pilot projects and academic entities tested the solution – successfully. Already in this early phase SpeechCode received many awards.
Since then, SpeechCode has increased the reach of information as audio guide, speaking guidance system, in barrier-free brochures, on events & websites, in passports, and much more.
Because the topics of customer experience, digitisation, sustainability and accessibility are becoming increasingly important, we are getting a little closer every day to our goal of “making Text AND Speech the standard”.
The two doggies, Jessie and Naoussa, were of course an integral part of the SpeechCode team: They provided security and a good atmosphere and – as brand ambassadors – wore our Speech Dog Tags. We still miss them today.
Barbara Operschall & Richard Hopf