Innovation That Matters

App facilitates communication for users unable to speak

Sport & Fitness

Regular readers of Springwise may remember our article on the LookTel Money Reader app, which can announce the value of paper currency to blind users. In another example of app-based technology coming to the aid of disabled users, we recently came across Verbally, an iPad app which speaks typed sentences and words for users who are unable to talk. Verbally, the first project by US-based Intuary, is described as an “Augmentative and Alternative Communication” app, and is available free of charge from the App Store. Designed to make communication as easy as possible, the app’s keyboard can switch between different modes to speed up conversations. For example, as well as a standard letter keyboard for spelling out words, there is a keyboard loaded with a list of 50 commonly used words and up to a dozen commonly used phrases to select from. The app will also generate word predictions as users type, similar to predictive texting on mobile phones, with a key difference being that it can import names, cities and company names from users’ address books and add these into the word prediction bank. To communicate with others, users of the app can then choose to have the entire phrase read out by a male or female voice, or to have individual words read out as they enter or select them. For those struggling to attract attention, there is also the option to sound a chime, or to repeat the last phrase spoken. The benefits technology can bring to disabled users are seemingly endless. One to support or be inspired by! (Related: Charity gaming center targets disabled playersGPS navigation for disabled drivers.)



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