Speak:Unique Evaluation

About the project

The Speak Unique project developed voicebanking software, to understand how well personalised voices can be created for use with technologies such as iPads. The voice may be recorded from the person who is facing some barriers to speaking, and can also be ‘melded’ with family members or by voices from the bank that share similar characteristics.

My project looked at what it meant to the families in Scotland who had already been given a personalised voice. The study showed that voice is a unique part of who we are and is central to communicating identity, personality and our heritage. Being able to preserve your own accent is vitally important to people who face barriers to speaking and so a personalised voice is highly valued in comparison to a synthesised voice. Further family members particularly value the personalised voice, as it’s understood to capture the personality of the people they love.

The project also showed that high quality recordings were possible in the home of families, with fairly limited training for speech and language therapists which gave hope to this project being viable for a nationwide roll-out. That hope has now become a reality as the spin-out company SpeakUnique launched the product to an international audience in June 2020.



Primary location


Principal Investigator

Other people involved

Dr Phillipa Rewaj, University of Edinburgh Lynda Tomarelli, University of Edinburgh Dr Seumas Bates, University of Glasgow