DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Startup Alley S19 -- At Educause 2018, AISense, Inc., which does business as Otter.ai, announced its intention to launch Otter for Education, a version of Otter Voice Notes designed to meet the needs of universities and other higher level education institutions, in December 2018. Otter.ai also announced that Tulane University, Western Kentucky University and UCLA have signed agreements to use Otter Voice Notes, as an accessibility aid by students that have a note-taking accommodation. These pilot customers are informing the account management and end-user features of Otter for Education.
Since its launch earlier this year, thousands of individual students have become users of Otter Voice Notes. A substantial number have signed up for our premium plan availing of education user discounted pricing of $4.99 per month. The variety of use cases include lecture note-taking; transcription of research interviews; capturing notes from group study sessions; and processing of public audio data for research purposes.
“We are excited that Otter will bring AI into classrooms and will dramatically improve education effectiveness,” said Sam Liang, CEO of Otter.ai. “Students now have searchable class notes with synchronized audio, and real-time transcription making classes accessible for students who have difficulty following what a teacher is saying,” he continued.
Disability services departments at several leading universities have begun to promote the application as an alternative accessibility tool for students. Otter is viewed as being more full featured, usable and economical compared with competing technologies that were designed specifically as an assistive technology for note-taking. Otter goes beyond assisting and is an empowering technology for users who can activate it in any environment using the mobile app or browser.
Given the interest from educational institutions, Otter.ai initiated a pilot program to enable trial of Otter Voice Notes for use by students requiring note taking assistance. Participants also agreed to deliver feedback regarding how to optimize our forthcoming enterprise release for Education. UCLA, Tulane, and Western Kentucky University, are among several universities that have signed up to be part of the Otter for Education pilot program. Participating students may rely on peer note-taking assistance and may currently use other assistive technologies.
The feedback from use of Otter as an accessibility tool has been very positive and resulted in interest from others on campus. At one institution, the athletics department wants to use Otter to take and share notes for members of the basketball team while they are traveling. At another the student welfare department is considering other uses for the technology for note taking during interviews.
Kathryn Fernandez, Executive Director for Campus Accessibility at Tulane University, said that “Otter is a promising new assistive technology for students that require note-taking assistance. It not only provides recording and synchronized speech recognition, it can recognize who is speaking and integrates search and keyword extraction.”
Reticence on the part of educators regarding the use of recording in the classroom is allayed as they may be given control over who can access transcripts live that they record via their own instance of Otter and choose to share. Others view it as a method to ensure participation for all students in the classroom and are actively embracing the technology. College lectures at many leading institutions are now recorded and published online. Manual transcription is expensive and takes time. Otter enables real-time transcription and is considerably less costly.
Administrators with responsibility for disability services, accessibility technology, or IT in education can learn more about Otter for Education and potential to participate in our pilot program on the web at otter.ai/edu. Those that are attending Educause in Denver may connect with the company at Booth S19.
Otter.ai is the creator of Otter Voice Notes, a smart note-taking and collaboration application for web and mobile that uses Ambient Voice Intelligence™ proprietary technology to give people the power to capture, scan, search, and share important parts of voice conversations. Otter.ai is based in Silicon Valley with a team of experienced Ph.Ds and engineers from Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Nuance. Follow Otter.ai on Twitter and learn more at otter.ai. Download Otter Voice Notes from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or on the Web at otter.ai.