Monday 21 May 2018

Irish startup behind innovative lip reading technology secures more than €800k in funding

(L-R) Read my Lips! Richard McConnell and Liam McQuillan from Liopa are pictured with Hal Wilson, Partner, techstart NI
(L-R) Read my Lips! Richard McConnell and Liam McQuillan from Liopa are pictured with Hal Wilson, Partner, techstart NI
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

An Irish startup has received $1m (€808,000) investment to bring its innovative lip reading platform to market on the global stage.

Belfast-based Liopa now has the capability to commercialise Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) product LipRead, developed following a decade of research .

Its latest investors include the AI Seed Fund, which exclusively supports start-ups that harness AI to create tech solutions, and its initial backers, Techstart NI, and QUBIS.

Using the camera on a smartphone or tablet to analyse lip movement and decipher words and phrases, LipRead’s primary function will be improving the accuracy of voice-driven assistants and voice activated applications in noisy environments.

Seasoned entrepreneurs Liam McQuillan and Richard McConnell, who have both been involved in the creation of a number of tech start-ups, lead the Liopa team.

"Voice is forecast to overtake the keyboard and mouse as the primary means of interacting with mobile & computing applications," Mr McQuillan said.

"The big stumbling block however is the accuracy of current voice technologies in real world environments – commands get misinterpreted frequently due to background noise. LipRead will augment current technologies and provide this much needed accuracy, thus ensuring the success of the ‘Voice UI’."

Dr Darryl Stewart and Dr Fabian Campbell-West, globally recognised authorities in their field, are also part of the team and have spearheaded the research behind LipRead.

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