New iPhone feature lets you create a voice that sounds like you in just 15 minutes | Science and technology news


Apple has introduced a new feature that allows iPhones and iPads to produce digital reproductions of a user’s voice.

The Personal Voice feature, expected to be part of iOS 17, will work in tandem with the Live Speech feature to give users the ability to record their voices and communicate with others over audio calls or platforms like FaceTime.

Users can create a personal voice by reading aloud along with a random series of text prompts to record 15 minutes of audio on iPhone or iPad.

The Live Speech feature then allows users to type messages on the device to have them read aloud.

If you use certain phrases frequently, these can be saved as abbreviations.

If they’ve created a Personal Voice model, they can play the phrases in their own voice—otherwise, they’ll be read out by the device’s Siri digital assistant.

It is aimed at people who have certain medical conditions, such as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), which can result in being unable to speak in the future.

Philip Green, board member and ALS advocate for charity Team Gleason, has seen significant changes in his voice since his ALS diagnosis in 2018.

He said, “Ultimately, the most important thing is being able to communicate with friends and family.”

“If you can tell them you love them in a voice that sounds like you, it makes a world of difference – and the ability to create your synthetic voice on your iPhone in just 15 minutes, is exceptional.”

The feature is among a series of new tools that will be coming to Apple devices later this year, although the company isn’t providing more specifics on when.

Another app called Point And Speak allows users to point their finger at something in front of the camera and the app will read the text on or near the camera – for example, when a person uses it to read the text on microwave buttons.

This feature only works on Apple devices with a built-in LIDAR sensor — among the tech giant’s pricier iPhone and iPad models.

The news comes ahead of the Worldwide Developers’ Conference on June 5, where Apple is also expected to unveil its first virtual reality headset.

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