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Elara Systems Partners with iTherapy to Create the InnerVoice Unreal App

The App Helps Children with Autism Communicate Using 3D Avatars and Voice-Synthesis Technology

Gold River, CA: Elara Systems recently collaborated with iTherapy to create a new communication training tool for children with autism called InnerVoice Unreal. The mobile app lets users create expressive 3D avatars using the latest voice-synthesis technology as they learn how to describe their environment and express emotions through facial expressions and realistic speech movements. This reinforces the connection between speech, facial expression, and mouth shapes in an engaging and entertaining way to help typical and neurodiverse children find their voice and learn the relationship shared among speech, text, and the physical world.

Facial recognition technology is often underutilized in medical and educational fields as an intervention tool, and many children with autism often struggle to learn facial expressions and speech articulation independently. The InnerVoice Unreal app is designed for children of all ages and skill levels to help them learn speech, social communication, and literacy skills. Using Epic Games Unreal Engine technology, users can customize 3D animated avatars to depict a variety of genders and cultural backgrounds to replicate human emotions, facial expressions, and speech movements.

This is a unique and important tool for learning in schools where teachers, speech pathologists, and other professionals often wear masks. InnerVoice Unreal can safely demonstrate speech articulation movements and facial expressions, allowing teachers and professionals to demonstrate the skills without removing their masks. The program uses Amazon’s cloud computing for speech-synthesis and procedural “lip-syncing”, combined with the Unreal Engine platform by Epic Games for visuals.

iTherapy chose Elara Systems to bring their vision to life because of their experience with VR technology and 3D animation. Elara engineers built the InnerVoice Unreal app from the ground up to make sure the 3D avatars demonstrate human emotions and speech movements as realistically as possible. Elara also helped iTherapy design a mobile app that’s both entertaining and accessible to both typical and neurodiverse children. The program captures the user’s attention, using a simple, fun system that is easy to learn and navigate for just about anyone.

Elara chose to work on this project due to their belief in the power of communication. iTherapy and its partners seek to increase the use of this technology in the medical and educational fields. Providers and parents can use this technology to help children of all backgrounds engage with their surroundings and peers in meaningful, productive ways.

ABOUT ELARA

Based in Northern California, Elara is a strategic creative agency that develops digital content for medical and industrial markets across the globe. For 20 years, Elara has partnered with clients to develop creative solutions to showcase their vision and transform digital content mediums – including virtual reality, mixed and augmented reality, 3D, and video. They specialize in creating deeply interactive experiences for teaching, training, marketing and sales. For more information, all parties should contact Melissa Herbold at info@ElaraSystems.com.

About iTherapy: iTherapy is a San Francisco Bay Area company dedicated to improving quality of life for people who struggle with communication challenges through a combination of evidence-based practices, evolving technology, engagement, and fun.

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