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New mobile app to get its national launch in Cape Coral

By Staff | Sep 12, 2019

The mobile app TalkAware has been in the works for two years. CEO, Jim Morrissette, thought of the idea because he found himself driving a lot and using Voice to Text.

“It became a problem,” he said. “You have to pull over. Making corrections so you don’t have to look like an idiot.

“I thought, ‘this is crazy? Why should I have to keep making corrections?'”

On Saturday, the public is invited to attend a launch party in Cape Coral to introduce the new mobile app to locals before its national release.

TalkAware Launch Event Coordinator, Lisa Barringer, says they’re hoping for at least 500 people to attend the party, where it will be announced when the app will be available to download. Like the launch party, the app is free.

The unique, speech-to-text mobile app is designed to make life easier for smartphone users who are tired of awkward mistakes made from voice dictation.

Morrissette said that when you open the app, it will ask you if you want to notify people on the phone what the TalkAware symbol means.

In fact, he said you can notify your whole phone list that you’re using TalkAware, if you’d like.

“When you use Voice to Text, the program knows you’re using Voice to Text and it puts the TalkAware symbol before it (your text) so you don’t have to write that you’re using Voice to Text,” he said.

“The program is so simple,” Morrissette said later. “It’s almost silly how simple it is.”

The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. launch event at the Cape Coral Power Squadron officially begins the countdown to the very moment, which will be announced at the party, when TalkAware will be available for download from the Apple and Google Play stores.

“TalkAware gives you a multi-pronged approach that creates one of the most versatile mobile apps in the market today, and it will revolutionize voice recognition to meet each person’s individual needs,” Morrissette said. “The launch party presents an opportunity for a smartphone user to ask in person, ‘How can TalkAware help me?'”

On Saturday, Southwest Florida residents and smartphone users will get a first-hand look at the application. There will be demos, presentations and activities the whole family can enjoy.

Morrissette will also give a 30-minute introduction to TalkAware at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. At 11:30 a.m., the Cape Coral Police Department will discuss its partnership with Ring, one of the event’s sponsors.

Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) representatives will present information on its SmartHub app. The executive director of the Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center will also conduct a presentation on how the center is empowering the local deaf and hard of hearing community.

“We intended for the launch party to be a celebration of technology and mobile apps in general,” Barringer said. “We not only wanted to bring attention to TalkAware but to other great software applications and services that people can access from their smartphones or other mobile devices.”

The Ring app is quickly gaining popularity, and it has become a very effective tool for helping fight crime, Barringer said, “especially for keeping watch of neighborhood crime and offenders in our community.”

“We recognized that and wanted to help spread the word about the app, and so we asked for Ring’s support,” she said. “In light of recent local crime events in which culprits were caught on the Ring Video Doorbell camera and reported to police, we knew it was very essential and timely to get the Cape Coral Police Department involved to explain how it is working with Ring to help solve neighborhood crime.”

The launch party also will feature games and activities for children, teens and adults. Proceeds will benefit the Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center in Fort Myers.

Emoji bingo for children is from 10:30 to 11 a.m. A coloring book activity for children begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at noon. Adults and teens can look forward to the QR Code Scavenger Hunt 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. From 1 to 3 p.m., there will also be balloon art for children by Joe the Balloon Dude and face painting for teens and children by Darcy M from About Faces Entertainment.

Look out for free chances to win prizes including a free Ring Video Doorbell; ticket admission for two to see “Finding Neverland” at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre; an $80 gift card for Genius Computer Repair & Service; one month of classes at Yoga Bird Studio, and a free headshot by Alma B. Studio.

In the early stages, Morrissette kept thinking someone must have already come up with the idea to make an app like TalkAware.

He asked his attorney if there was a trademark on the product and the answer was no, it hadn’t been done before.

So, Morrissette was in the clear.

“I thought oh my God, this is a crazy opportunity,” he said. “This is a crazy thing no one has ever done before.”

Now someone can say it has been done.

The Cape Coral Power Squadron is at 917 S.E. 47th Terrace.