Product: Audio
Voice for Motor Neurone Disease sufferers   (+24, -1)  [vote for, against]
Store their voice for them, before it's gone.

It's been five years since a friend, who I deeply miss, died from motor neurone disease (Lou Gehrig's). Among people he knew, he was very outgoing and talkative, interesting as a person but also interested in what others were doing. That's not just a eulogy, he was my youth group leader and someone I looked up to hugely as I was growing up.

It was his loss of speech that made the biggest impact. From being the life and soul of any gathering, he was reduced to typing on a portable speech synthesizer which then spoke in a harshly metallic American accent. I'm sure that you over the other side of the pond will understand that it was incongruous and simply emphasised what was happening.

I propose (well, my wife proposes and I second) that upon diagnosis, sufferers should have the opportunity to record the set of sounds and words that a speech synthesizer uses. Then in future, while they may no longer be able to speak, at least their machine will sound a little more like them.
-- david_scothern, Jan 01 2008

-- 8th of 7, Jan 01 2008

VoiceBank! (+)
-- ConsulFlaminicus, Jan 02 2008

Absolutely wonderful!
-- 4whom, Jan 02 2008

+ and there is nothing left to say!
-- xandram, Jan 02 2008

Fantastic idea (+).
-- MisterQED, Jan 02 2008

Here in the UK, Tom Baker reads out your text messages if sent to BT landlines. For sufferers who used to really like doing impressions, a bank of famous voices could be installed.
-- theleopard, Jan 02 2008

(+) I wonder if you could do this by creating a device that just continually records everything you say. The sound would be buffered on a local flash drive and periodically uploaded to the a computer for analysis - identifying words based on phonemes, and storing utterances accordingly. That way you wouldn't waste precious time training the system.
-- bumhat, Jan 02 2008

Using your stored vocal inflections, Microsoft Sam convincingly persuades your friends and family that he is you. Only your dog figures it out, because Sam smells like ozone. High jinks ensue!
-- bungston, Jan 02 2008

I think this is great. Some people speak with a decidedly distinct "sing-song" sort of speak, that I really love. Nothing comes close to that, but that, I think.

Is it doable? [bumhat]'s idea seems plausable.
-- blissmiss, Jan 02 2008

random, halfbakery