5th September 2018
LipRead’s primary function will be improving the accuracy of commonly used voice-driven assistants (such as Siri, Cortana or Alexa) and voice activated applications in noisy environments such as vehicles, offices and factories. Other potential uses of lip-reading technology, which will be multi-lingual, include:
- An aid for the hard of hearing via automated subtitling
- Word/phrase search in upload video
- Human-robotic interaction; and
- Preventing authentication fraud (aka Anti-spoofing)
Liopa is led by seasoned entrepreneurs Liam McQuillan and Richard McConnell. Together they have been involved in the creation of several indigenous NI tech start-up companies that have successfully developed software products for the worldwide market and have achieved substantial exit values.
How did ERDF funding, through the EU Investment for Growth & Jobs Programme, contribute to the success of the project/scheme?
The company has secured $1million in funding – led by its initial backers, Techstart NI, and QUBIS – which will enable it to commercialise the LipRead platform and actively market it for global use. Its latest investors include the AI Seed Fund which exclusively supports start-ups that harness Artificial Intelligence to create leading edge tech solutions. The funding round was also supported by Co- Fund NI II (ERDF)
Hal Wilson of Techstart NI added his support: “Liopa brings together great technology, strong team and an exciting market opportunity. This latest funding round marks a significant step forward and will support the team’s plans to bring the LipRead technology to market”
Confirming the latest funding milestone, Liam McQuillan said: “Voice is forecast to overtake the keyboard and mouse as the primary means of interacting with mobile & computing applications. The big stumbling block however is the accuracy of current voice technologies in real world environments –commands get misinterpreted frequently due to background noise. LipRead will augument current technologies and provide this much needed accuracy, thus ensuring the success of the “Voice UI”.