“I Will Always Be Me,” a first-of-its-kind e-book for people living with motor neurone disease (MND) that banks their voices as they read aloud has just been launched. MND is a neurodegenerative condition that deteriorates muscular nerve cells, ultimately taking away an individual’s ability to speak over time.
Although the project is aimed at people living with MND, the voice banking technology is available to all to try and is free in the UK. “I Will Always Be Me” allows the user to record themselves reading the book, on their own personal device. From this one recording, a digital approximation of the users speaking voice is generated.
To raise awareness of the condition and support those navigating it, Dell Technologies and Intel in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Rolls-Royce have teamed up with VMLY&R to create the immersive and touching digital story book.
Written by New York Times bestselling author Jill Twiss and illustrated by award-winning artist and illustrator Nicholas Stevenson; the short story is created from the perspective of a person living with MND explaining to their loved ones about the condition and their experience with the disease.
To launch the project, VMLY&R created a documentary showing a group of people with MND and their families as they experience the book for the first time.
Mr Moss, head of innovation at Rolls-Royce, said: “This is something that you can share with other people to explain what you’re going through. Beyond banking your voice, the experience becomes a memory, and this book is an heirloom that will be there forever.”
Nicholas Stevenson, lecturer of BA Illustration at Hereford College of Arts, said: “It was such an honour to illustrate this book and see how much it has meant to people with MND and their families. I loved the challenge of illustrating a changing outer self and a more constant, technicolour inner life. Jill’s writing brought a really sensitive lightness to such a hard topic, which I tried to extend in the artwork.”
The book is available to all from the I Will Always Be Me website.
Image credits: www.iwillalwaysbeme.com