Imagine a world without color or light, just darkness.
In China, this is what the universe looks like for 12.6 million people who are blind. More than 700 new books are released every day, but according to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, these 12.6 million people do not have access to them. That’s why our WeChat China team has created The Voice Donor project.
We place special WeChat books in the “new books” section of bookstores. When shoppers pick up the books to read, the pages are blank – with the exception of a simple QR code, inviting them to follow the WeChat Voice Donor account and donate their voice. For awareness, QR codes are also located in select parlors under massage tables. So WeChatters can even scan the codes while getting a massage!
After scanning the QR code and picking a book category, WeChat sends the reader a snippet of a book to be recorded using the “Hold to Talk” feature. We then compile the recordings to produce audio books also available on WeChat.
How Each Audiobook is Created
Because each recording is unique, WeChat developed the Intelligent Operation System to stitch each submission together.
- Recordings are categorized by book
- Voice clips are then selected based on their ability to fulfill two criteria – (1) fluency and clarity and (2) credibility
- Fluency: Clips are scored according to time related factors including speaking speed, use of appropriate pauses and presence of missing or additional words.
- Credibility: Based on another set of factors, misread words, accent and background noise, these recordings are put together.
Thanks to all our users. In only a few months, 10 audiobooks have been produced through 200,000 people’s voices. While the Voice Donor is currently only available in Chinese, people all over the world who can read Chinese are welcome to donate their voices. Just open WeChat and scan the QR code below to follow the Voice Donor official account.
One minute may be a third of a song, walk to the bus stop, three bites of an apple. Yet, it can make a huge difference to someone in need.
So what are your plans in the next 60 seconds?