IAmA a 13 year old who developed a mobile app that helps speech impaired people to communicate. AMA
Hi Reddit, I’m Eric Zeiberg and I have developed an app that helps people with speech disabilities. The name of the app is HandySpeech and it is a handwriting to speech application that converts written text into spoken words. The app can speak in 13 languages and in a male or female voice. It’s one-of-the kind application in the Apple app store to convert written words to speech. (This is just a brief overview of what the app does, if you want more info, feel free to ask it in the comments)
My sister Julie, who is autistic and cannot speak, inspired me. I have lived with her all my life and always though that there must be SOME way I could help her. Also one of my family friends has Muscular Dystrophy and she is the one who suggested making this specific app as there is no other app like this on the App Store or anywhere for that matter. This app can help people with variety of speech impairments due to autism, stuttering, selective mutism and others. However it specifically benefits people who have lost their ability to speak due to disease or surgery: muscular dystrophy, certain types of stroke, throat and oral cancer, Lou Gehrig among others. Typing can be slow and difficult especially for the older population. Handwriting is more natural for most people.
Developing this app was challenging, but fun. I have always been very interested in computers and have grown very fond of programming and computer science in general. Even when I was very little, I knew how to use the web browser, play games and surf the web (I did in Internet Explorer, but don’t judge, I was very little at the time!).
As I got older, I stopped playing games and started doing more serious stuff with my knowledge. The first language I learned was Objective – C as it was necessary to learn in order to make apps for the App Store. As it was the first language I learned, it was a bit difficult getting used to case sensitive syntax and learning that computers take this code and do whatever it says, down to the dot. Then I moved onto HandySpeech. I will admit that I did not write all the code myself for this app, I had some help from my dad. I also used 2 SDKs, for the handwriting recognition and the speech synthesis.
When I am not developing apps, I am playing Minecraft and coding there. Over the summer, I learned Java because I wanted to program plugins for Minecraft and I also needed to learn Java to port HandySpeech to Android. I also have a YouTube channel where I publish videos every once in a while and I am thinking about posting some coding lessons / time lapses of me coding.
TL;DR: Hi, I’m Eric Zeiberg and at age 13, I have developed an app that helps speech impaired people to communicate with others very efficiently and effectively by using Handwriting to Speech.
www.ispeak4u.com (If this proof is not enough, I can provide more or you can trust me that I am not a phony)
EDIT: Still going to answer questions! Keep em coming!
EDIT 2: Love the support, guys! Going to stop the AmA for today, but keep your questions coming and I will try to answer them when I get up tomorrow @ 7AM EST.
EDIT 3: Thanks for all the support, guys! Going to sign off now. This was a great AmA and I may do another one in the future, if I have something to share. Bye now!