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Creative in association withGear Seven
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This First of its Kind Book Banks Voices of People Living with Motor Neurone Disease
18/02/2022
Group745
Advertising Agency
Kansas City, USA
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Dell Technologies and Intel, in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Rolls-Royce, have worked with VMLY&R to launch the book
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Dell Technologies and Intel, in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Rolls-Royce, have worked with VMLY&R to create 'I Will Always Be Me,' a first-of-its-kind book for people living with motor neurone disease (MND) that banks their voices as they read aloud. 

Written by New York Times bestselling author Jill Twiss, the book is created from the perspective of a person living with MND and explains what they will be going through in a thoughtful, informative way through an immersive digital experience. To launch the project, VMLY&R created a documentary showing a group of people with MND and their families as they experience the book for the first time.

“It’s not often you get to build your client’s brand and push humanity forward, all at the same time.” said Wayne Best, CCO, VMLY&R New York. “Through the power of creativity, collaboration and technology, we've created an advanced voice banking tool that solves a complex problem in the simplest and most human way possible."

MND is a neurodegenerative condition that deteriorates muscular nerve cells, ultimately taking away a person’s ability to speak. By integrating voice banking technology with the difficult task of explaining MND to loved ones, the project simplifies and humanizes the experience and encourages individuals to take action earlier in their diagnosis.

How it works:

  • When visiting the website, people can learn about the program on the homepage and start the recording experience. The book opens, and as the user reads through the book to their loved ones, their voice is automatically recorded. 
  •  Every sound necessary to create a digital voice is embedded in the story naturally, so by the time the reader completes the book, their digital voice can be processed quickly.
  •  Once all pages are recorded, they can review their recording and re-record pieces as necessary. 
  •  If they’re ready to get a digital/synthetic voice created, they can share their recording with SpeakUnique to request a digital voice. 
  •  They can also share their recorded version of the book with friends and family via a unique link.

Supporting those living with MND:

  • Voice banking is an empowering way to maintain identity and personal expression by creating a digital replica that can be used as the disease progresses. The process involves extracting specific sounds from the recording and aligning them with pre-written text. An algorithm then extrapolates unique voice characteristics (and based on gender, age, accent, etc.) to create a synthetic voice that can be installed on any assistive technology device.
  •  Starts the process earlier (while voice is intact), as that's the best way to get a good digital voice before the person living with MND fully loses their own voice. 
  • Humanises the experience - can bank one’s voice from home, using their own device, surrounded by loved ones as a shared/meaningful experience.
  • Allows people living with MND to bank one's voice as a seamless, connected experience vs. the current way of reading disconnected phrases into a microphone.

The book is available to all here

Banking a voice by reading the book requires creating a free account (currently available only in the UK - England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland).

To explore the book without banking a voice (without recording it) visit here

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