Apple highlights Personal Voice, a new accessibility feature, in charming fairy tale from Taika Waititi

The two-minute film is an inventive product demo, showing how iPhone can help you keep your voice even if you lose the ability to speak

Published On
Nov 30, 2023
A little girl and a big furry pink and white creature in a forest

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Apple reserves some of its most inspired marketing for its accessibility features—which makes sense, since such advancements are, for many users, not just a nice-to-have but truly life-changing. 

We saw this last year with its spot “The Greatest,” directed by Kim Gehrig, one of the most lauded spots of 2022. And now, here’s a lovely new film—once again timed to International Day of Persons with Disabilities (on Dec. 3)—highlighting a new iPhone feature called Personal Voice, which samples your voice and can recreate it, in case you ever lose your ability to speak.

It’s fairly magical technology, so Apple crafted a fairy tale to debut it.


Filmed in New Zealand by Taika Waititi (most recently seen making an amusingly meta tourism ad for his home nation), the spot—like so much of Apple’s advertising—shows the product in action. 

The man at the end is Dr. Tristram Ingham, a physician, associate professor of epidemiology and a disability advocate from Wellington, New Zealand, who has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy—which can lead to an inability to speak. He recorded his narration using Personal Voice—first recording 150 prompt phrases, then having the software read the lines of dialogue.

The music track is a song called “Yodeler” by the husband-and-wife duo X Carbon, chosen in part because it consists largely of human voice samples. X Carbon revisisted the original track and added some new parts to it.

The storybook at the end is also being brought to life as a physical book and ebook that will be available as a free downloadable on Apple Books starting Nov. 30.

Personal Voice debuted with the release of iOS 17 in September. It uses on-device machine learning to keep users’ information private and secure.

“At Apple, we’ve always believed that the best technology is technology built for everyone,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said back in the spring when Personal Voice was previewed, along with other new accessibility features. “Today, we’re excited to share incredible new features that build on our long history of making technology accessible, so that everyone has the opportunity to create, communicate, and do what they love.”

“Accessibility is part of everything we do at Apple,” added Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of global accessibility policy and initiatives. “These groundbreaking features were designed with feedback from members of disability communities every step of the way, to support a diverse set of users and help people connect in new ways.”