2020 is being called the year of the two pandemics – one new, Covid-19, and one that’s been with us for centuries – racial injustice.
For SoapBox Labs, 2020 was also the year of convergence – when our high accuracy kid-specific voice technology fulfilled an urgent global need for new remote and classroom-based learning solutions, and entertainment solutions for kids spending more time at home.
In the education market, our voice technology powered tools that gave parents around the world some respite from their roles as co-teachers, while our collaboration with Amplify gave teachers across America a first-of-its-kind remote reading assessment tool that could assess kids’ reading levels as accurately as a trained professional.
After a pandemic-filled Spring semester and long Summer vacation Amplify’s new tool Text Reading Online, was a game changer for teachers, kids and their parents.
In the toy and consumer markets, our offline custom wake-word recognition and voice command solutions were integrated into kids’ robots and animated characters in 2020. These products will be hitting the market in Q1 next year, so watch this space!
None of this happens of course without the support of our world class SoapBox Labs team, and a number of strategic hires in 2020 consolidated our position as the world’s largest team of experts in kids’ voice technology.
We’re proud of our many achievements in 2020 – awards, media coverage, and of course, securing a new Series A round of funding. There is, however, one moment in the year that stands out from all the rest: When our voice technology was independently proven to show no bias in scoring speech from kids of diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds.
That independent confirmation of no-bias has been 7 years of hard work and commitment in the making, and it sits at the core of our mission to deliver world class voice experiences to kids of all accents, dialects and socio-economic backgrounds. (Publication of the third party study is scheduled for 2021).
To finish up this challenging and extraordinary year, in December, CEO and Founder Dr. Patricia Scanlon was recognized as the world’s 6th most visionary voice leader. Trish started SoapBox Labs in 2013 when she realized that the voice technology on the market couldn’t understand her 3 year old daughter. Since then we’ve been building proprietary voice solutions that work for kids voices, behaviors, environments and privacy needs specifically.
Thank you all for your support over the last 12 months, and look out for more firsts and major developments from SoapBox Labs in 2021.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!