Google's Look to Speak app launches on Android 9.0 and up

The app is meant to help those with speech and motor impairments. It lets you communicate phrases at a glance.

Andrew Gebhart Former senior producer

Google's Look to Speak app will help nonverbal people communicate on the go. It's rolling out widely on Tuesday on Android 9.0 as well as later versions.. The app presents a few options of phrases, and you choose the one you want with a glance. Your phone will then speak that phrase for you. 

Designed primarily for those with speech and motor impairments, the app was developed with speech and language therapist Richard Cave. It uses the machine learning built into your smartphone to tell where you are looking so you can use eye movement to select the phrase you want it to speak. 

Cave noted in Tuesday's blog post that the app works best in conjunction with a specialized communication device with built-in eye gaze technology. Because it's an app on your phone, it can go where a machine like that can't. Whereas a full-size machine lets you type your thoughts letter by letter, the Look to Speak app is intended to help you quickly get across an important idea. 

The app will let you adjust the sensitivity and does offer ways to personalize the words and phrases it uses. Look to Speak was developed as part of Google's experimental projects platform, and all data collected by the app remains private.