ANDOVER, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Philips North America today announced VoiceItt, developer of the voice recognition software TalkItt, as the grand prize winner of the second annual Philips Innovation Fellows competition, in partnership with global web-based crowd funding site Indiegogo, recognizing the company and technology as the next meaningful innovation in health and well-being.
According to the National Institute of Healthi, approximately 7.5 million people in the United States alone have trouble using their own voices. TalkItt empowers people with motor, speech or language disorders to easily communicate. By recognizing the user’s vocal patterns, the app will translate unintelligible pronunciation from any language into understandable speech via a smartphone, tablet or computer.
“We are honored that Philips and its employees – who strive to create meaningful innovations in the area of health and technology every day – have recognized our efforts to help people live more fulfilling lives,” said Jessica Eisenberg, Marketing Manager, VoiceItt. “Winning Philips Innovation Fellows will help us change the lives of individuals living with speech disabilities caused by medical conditions, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as their family members, caregivers and friends, who communicate with them daily.”
VoiceItt, which was selected from among five finalists as the contest winner by Philips employees, will receive $60,000 in prize money, in addition to the $25,235 it raised through the contest’s presence on Indiegogo during the crowdsourcing phase of the competition. Along with the monetary prize, VoiceItt will receive mentoring from Philips executives and relevant business leaders.
“VoiceItt’s mission to give a voice to those who struggle to speak because of a medical condition embodies our vision for meaningful innovation,” said Brent Shafer, CEO of Philips North America. “The potential of TalkItt to improve so many lives resonated with our judging panel and our employees, and we’re honored to name them the winner of our second annual Innovation Fellows competition.”
The other 2014 Innovation Fellows finalists included:
- LeefH2, a device that reduces particulate matter emissions in diesel engines in order to improve air quality and human health worldwide.
- miraclefeet, a low-cost foot brace designed to treat clubfoot in low-resource settings.
- Sweet Bites, a chewing gum that can prevent tooth decay in impoverished children.
- X-Fingers, the first functional prosthetic fingers for children.
Each of these finalists will receive a $10,000 cash prize, in addition to the funding raised through Indiegogo.
Last year, Philips named Fosmo Med the grand prize winner of the inaugural Philips Innovation Fellows competition. Fosmo Med’s Maji Intravenous (IV) saline bag creates a sterile solution through reverse osmosis from any water, clean or dirty. The product has currently completed the R&D phase and request for determination has been submitted to the FDA. Once approved, Maji could be used for treating diseases, such as cholera, in disaster regions and developing countries worldwide.
“The Philips Innovation Fellows competition has provided credibility for our cause, ultimately raising our profile among investors,” said Ben Park, CEO and founder of Fosmo Med. “After working closely with Philips executives, it became clear that we shared the same goal: creating technology that saves and improves lives. This competition equipped us with the resources needed to finish our R&D efforts and prepare for the FDA phase of the project, which will bring us one step closer to market.”
About Royal Philips:
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 115,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
Indiegogo empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowdfunding platform, campaigns have launched from every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is the equal opportunity platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. For more information, visit www.indiegogo.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/indiegogo and www.facebook.com/indiegogo.
i National Health Institute: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/pages/vsl.aspx