Appareo Stratus Insight Debuts Voice Recognition Technology

The EFB captures and displays ATC transmissions.

Stratus Insight app
The Stratus Insight app combines regular EFB features with tools such as alternate planning and Vertical Weather Profile.Appareo Aviation

The Appareo Stratus Insight EFB has debuted, with voice recognition to capture and display ATC transmissions and other cockpit audio in flight, in addition to a host of other features. The Insight EFB app integrates with all generations of Stratus receivers, which provide FIS-B weather and ADS-B traffic information along with WAAS GPS data to the app during a flight.

“Think of it as a digital co-pilot to be with you when you’re flying,” said Appareo Aviation president Kris Garberg, in a press conference live-streamed on Facebook on March 31. Garberg listed the features normally found on EFBs that the Insight has as well, including VFR sectional maps, IFR low and high enroute charts, geo-referenced approach plates, TAWS, and AHRS with synthetic vision. Garberg also discussed the Vertical Weather Profile feature to help pilots visualize the conditions ahead, and Smart Flight Plan routing tools which enable quick selection of alternates, among other capabilities. He mentioned the app’s new automatic downloads feature, which allows for downloading in the background while on a WiFi connection for users who have the function selected.

Josh Gelinske, director of artificial intelligence systems for Appareo Aviation, was also on hand to answer questions and talk about how the company utilizes AI and machine learning to improve its features and customer experience. Gelinske was primary in developing the ATC Radio Transcription and Playback feature on the new app. Gelinske said, “It’s a good story how technology is kind of at the right time. We can get in front of things for pilots and give them better situational awareness and really reduce their workload.”

Stratus Insight app
The Stratus Insight app features AI-enabled voice recognition technology to transcribe radio transmissions in flight.Appareo Aviation

Whether you’re a student pilot or experienced, Gelinske said, it’s a stressful to keep up with ATC and other communications. The Insight “listens” to transmissions and uses AI to decipher those and present them like visual voice mail on the display for the pilot to reference. “For ATC speech, there’s not a lot of datasets in the world,” so they had to build their own app and collect their own data to parse for the feature. The functionality lives on the app rather than in the cloud (such as Siri or Alexa), which requires a live internet connection. That’s not possible to have reliably in a light aircraft, for the most part, so it was important to have the ATC Radio Transcription and Playback feature resident on the device in flight.

The Stratus Insight app can be found on Appple’s App Store, and it comes in a monthly ($9.99) or annual ($99.99) subscription, with all features covered by that fee. The Insight requires a $49.99 audio cable available online in order to enable the ATC Radio Transcription and Playback feature. A free 30-day trial is available as well.