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Accessible Speech for All, the Next-Generation Electrolarynx: Syrinx

2020 INNO-vation Challenger

Introducing Syrinx, the device to return accessibility to those who have lost their voice and help restore confidence when speaking.

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Meet the InnoUvator

"Syrinx", a Device to Recover a Lost Voice

2020 Disruptive Challenger, Masaki Takeuchi

In order to help those who have lost their voices due to laryngeal and pharyngeal cancer, we have developed and subsequently improved in the INNO-vation Program a hands-free wearable device called Syrinx that lets its user become able to speak again using only lip movement. There were three main points within the Disruptive Challenge. The first was having users actually try out the device and listen to their feedback. We asked a child who had lost his voice due to Chronic Lung Disease to try out the Syrinx to reply at his graduation ceremony. In order to let him use it comfortably, we selected the material for the buckle and strap that fits around the neck, and we modified the circuitry to be more user-friendly. He was very happy about it and is still using it to this day. The second point was the positioning of the oscillator and the effect it had on responses. The best area of the neck to place the device to produce a loud voice differs by person. We tried using existing body analysis applications and pressure gauges to see if there was some sort of law governing these principles, but we were unable to uncover anything. The third point was to reduce the amount of leftover vibration sound caused by the oscillators. Tests were performed by covering the device with rubber and gel, though they didn't go as well as hoped. A lot of mistakes were made, but we're making the most of it now in the current R&D phase!
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