Product Lead and Founder

    Matt Leete

    Matt is using his tech skills to make online gaming and e-sports more inclusive for people with disabilities.

    Tech entrepreneur Matt Leete combined engineering and design to create a tool for gamers living with impaired speech

    Growing up, Matt Leete says he always loved creative problem-solving and wanted to be an inventor. He has “always been deeply curious about technology”.

    Matt enrolled in a degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Queensland, but after two years he transferred to a Bachelor of Integrated Product Design at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Matt followed his degree up with a Masters of Interaction Design at the University of Sydney, focussing on electronic arts and human-computer interaction.

    It was while working on a hackathon called the Remarkable “Enabled by Design-athon”, organised by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, in partnership with UTS, that Matt came up with the idea for Spix App.

    “Our problem statement was to make online gaming and e-sports more inclusive for people with a disability,” explains Matt. “I spent the week speaking with gamers with a range of disabilities.

    Some common themes emerged, especially relating to the challenges with existing communication tools.”

    Path to success

    Matt’s solution? Spix App – a desktop app that allows users to prerecord common gaming phrases, edit the sound of their voice if required, then trigger the voice clips with the click of a button.

    “It supports gamers with impaired speech in fast-paced competitive gaming, or in complex online socialisation,” Matt says.

    A winning formula

    Matt’s Spix App idea was one of three winners of the Remarkable Design-athon, and it is now being tested and prepared for market as part of the

    Remarkable accelerator program. Matt says his study and career path meant he was well equipped to launch the Spix App. “I’m comfortable with technology, and could write enough code to develop the early prototypes of Spix App,” he says.

    Making the tech world more inclusive for people with a range of abilities is a big focus right now, says Matt. “It is an incredibly interesting area to work in and I would 100% recommend it to people looking for the opportunity to have a real impact on people’s lives.”

    Matt’s study and career pathway

    This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Technology 2021.

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    Gemma Chilton

    Author: Gemma Chilton

    Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.

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