Apple has released a new ad called ‘The lost voice’, which tells the rhyming story of a little girl helping a fluffy monster look for his voice, to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December.
Created in-house, the two-minute film is narrated by a real user of Apple’s new Personal Voice feature, which allows people to record their voice using software that preserves it should they lose the ability to speak in the future.
The user, Tristam Ingham, also appears at the end of the film when he is revealed as the narrator of the story and the human match for the monster character.
Ingham has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), which causes progressive muscle degeneration starting in the face, shoulders, and arms, and has noticed his voice weakening. He used Personal Voice to deliver the narration in the ad through a text interface.
“I’ve got three grandchildren,” he said. “I love to read them bedtime stories. They come and stay the night quite often, and they love stories about sea creatures, tsunamis, things like that. And I just want to be able to ensure that I can keep doing that into the future.”
The ad was directed by Taika Waititi and features a soundtrack by husband-wife duo X Carbon called Yodeler, which is created almost entirely from human voice samples.
The story told by “The lost voice” is from a new children’s book of the same name created for International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Ingham added: “Disability communities are very mindful of proxy voices speaking on our behalf. Historically, providers have spoken for disabled people, family have spoken for disabled people. If technology can allow a voice to be preserved and maintained, that’s autonomy, that’s self-determination.”
This story first appeared on Campaign UK.