By Ninad Barbadikar (Founder), Content Team, G.C.I.E.D.
Public speaking, It’s a scary thing isn’t it? One thinks of a million things that could go wrong when they speak. Those thoughts make them nervous and such nervousness tends to leave the crowd questioning, as to why they’re listening. When you’re up there, it’s just you and the mike and the people you’re talking to, hundreds of them, thousands even.
So is there a way to cure this fear of public speaking? Of course there is, we live in the 21st century, where there is a solution to almost anything and everything. Our access to information and services has made us the best equipped generation and we take advantage of our benefits. There are public speaking courses, workshops, seminars and what not. In the electronic world of apps, there are a few apps on app stores that help us get through this.
However, is there a way for a person to practice as many times as he/she wants? A way for them to develop on their own, without any external pressure? A way for them to make a million mistakes, before succeeding at the next attempt? This is what StammerNot is trying to deal with.
What, Where, Why, When?
The whole idea behind StammerNot at the moment, is to help people get through stage fear or fear of public speaking. It is a platform for users to practice and improve their skills, so as to resolve their stage fear.
Before dipping into the details, let me tell you about how this start-up was born. There was this event last year at G.C.I.E.D(Gitam Centre for Technical Incubation and Entrepreneurial development), in December.
It was a Design sprint where everything kicked off. A seven day event designed to help students understand the world of startups and help them begin one of their own, at the end of the event. Each start-up had to take up a real world problem and find innovative solutions for their problem. Now my team’s problem-statement was about improving communication skills.
The idea to make it a VR-based service wasn’t always there from the beginning. We worked our way through the problem and dealt with each of its aspects separately. We discussed the implications of each side of the problems and how we could resolve this and help people around us.
There was a customer validation process to be done. This is where we spoke to people around us about our idea. We spoke with our friends, neighbors and etc. We realized that, this is a very evident problem at the moment and that we need to come up with a solution that is useful as well as enjoyable.
That’s when we thought, “Hey, wait a minute. We live in the 21st century!”. That’s right, that’s when the idea to incorporate technology into this, struck us. With a little extra push from our mentors for the sprint at G.C.I.E.D. We decided to inculcate VR into our service and completely change the look of things
So how is this possible? This is where the world of services and technology converge. StammerNot plans to make use of Virtual Reality (VR) to provide their customers with the right environments to practice their skills in.
We intend to recreate everyday scenarios that we face as students and as youngsters and provide the user with an immersive and responsive environment. Thanks to some extra help from our mentors at G.C.I.E.D, we were able to develop something close to a prototype.
So what now, the user is experiencing the scenario, but what will help him judge his ability to speak and understand where he needs to improve? This is where we thought to include Audio Recognition. The user’s speech gets recorded and is fed to an algorithm which processes the voice and returns the output based on the user’s speech and determines if the speech was: good, average or bad. This is done using machine learning techniques and the code was written using Python.
Interesting idea, isn’t it? Practicing in this way enables the user to improve on his own rate and learn at the speed he wants to learn at. StammerNot intends to provide such a service to its users.
This is all that we’ve planned in the past three to four months. However, in the ever-changing world of start-ups and technology, there’s only one common denominator: What’s next?
Here’s what we’ve planned:
· Recreating other everyday scenarios such as: job interview scenario, class-room scenarios, workplace scenarios. Also, recreating a conversation with a stranger.
· Innovating and improving the scenarios over time and giving the users, the best experience possible.
· Collaborating with existing VR startups and improving our outreach.
There’s more to come in the coming years, this is just the beginning and the start of something new. Hopefully, in the future, StammerNot will be the way to learn for people around us.