BeneTalk has changed. For those of you who have been following us for a while, you may remember that our initial focus was to create a discreet wearable that could be used to track different speaking habits. This idea drove us to learn and progress.
During this period we began to realise that a wearable device, while attractive in some ways, had a number of limitations that restricted our vision for accessible and effective support for people who stutter all around the world. Key to this was our wish to go beyond focusing purely on speech and broaden BeneTalk so that it takes into consideration the full range of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to stuttering. We are a small team with huge passion but limited resources, so for us it became clear that we could use our focus and drive in a more effective way.
So, the BeneTalk app was born. We know from our own experiences that stuttering is a holistic experience - it affects us in a profound way, not just in how we communicate but also in how we move through life. Our new approach means that we can deliver support that reflects this. We want to help people learn to communicate with joy and also to feel free from the physical and psychological tension that can result from living with stuttering.
The BeneTalk app provides the kind of speech tracking technology we initially imagined our wearable to do but, at the same time, also offers people a direct route to connect with the stuttering community and stuttering therapy resources designed by world-class speech therapists. With a more flexible and holistic tool, we believe that we can offer a better experience to each person who uses BeneTalk.
As with everything we do, it is important for us to keep learning and moving forward in our work. Over the past couple of years, we have been encouraged by the belief shown in our vision by healthcare initiatives and huge companies such as Microsoft. We have been thrilled to join Microsoft’s AI for Good programme, The Hill’s Oxford incubator, and the KQ Labs accelerator run by the Francis Crick Institute. Since then, we believe that our decision to change focus has been justified. We’ve seen the BeneTalk app reach thousands of people who stutter from over 140 countries. We are proud of our new direction, our growing community, and we are excited to keep developing new ways to help people who stutter all around the world.