Edinburgh, Scotland, 5th February 2012
Former New Orleans Saints safety, Steve Gleason, is fondly remembered for a blocked punt against the Atlanta Falcons on the night the New Orleans Superdome reopened after Hurricane Katrina. He will be featured in NBC's SuperBowl Pre-Game Show tonight.
Gleason went public with his diagnosis of ALS (Motor Neuron Disease/Lou Gehrig's disease) in September 2011.
He has been working with hi-tech Scottish company CereProc to produce a synthetic version of his voice that can be used on smartphones and desktop computers.
ALS results in the loss of speech. Gleason points out that, "Until we see a medical solution, I believe that technology is a 'cure'. I believe that with the correct technology, equipment, and sense of purpose, ALS patients can live for decades."
CereProc founded in 2006 by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, has a track record of producing cloned voice solutions, their most famous client being the US film critic Roger Ebert.
CereProc produces characterful synthetic voices for servers, desktop computers and smart phones.
"Its wonderful to use our speech technology to directly help ALS sufferers. In the future we hope to make a similar cost effective service available to everyone.", said CereProc CTO, Dr Matthew Aylett.
Here's the video of Steve Gleason's story: