Thursday, May 17, 2007

AAC Device News

I had a training with our sales rep/trainer from Dynavox today and I had an e-mail from DJ at Great Talking Box about the Touchspeak hand held. So I have lots to share.

First the Dynavox, we were training on the DV4, but also had a chance to take another look at the Dynavox V. I learned a couple tricks I didn't know, for example there is an assessment feature on the DV4 series (and the V series) that allows teachers and therapists to assess and train the access, language and cognition parts of using the device.

Also, I learned about the usage counter which will keep data on how many times a student accesses a particular button (a feature Speaking Dynamically Pro also has). Perhaps the next upgrade of the Dynavox products will be a data collection tool that creates a log of what pages were accessed, which buttons were pressed, dates and times of those items, averages of pages accessed and buttons pressed by time of day, etc. (Basically I want the Dynavox to keep data the way my Animas insulin pump keeps data. On my pump I can look at or download logs of insulin use and blood glucose by times of day, averages based on various criteria and any notes I entered into the system. Something along those lines would be great on the Dynavox.)

During the Dynavox training Lori (our rep) gave me a copy of some of the new Dynavox advertisement material. At first I couldn't figure out why she was giving it to me, then I realized that I am quoted (via this blog) on the flyer. Very cool. My colleagues think I should get kick-backs.

We also heard today about the new Dynavox Palm Top (photo above) due out in June. All I have to say about this is "Hallelujah!", the ChatPC 3 is a total pain in the rear end (on the software end, not the hardware end) and the ChatPC 2 is no longer being sold (it was pretty decent on the software side, but not the hardware side). If Dynavox has taken their skill and talent for creating innovative, consumer focused AAC software and applied it to the same hardware as the Chat PC 3 it should be an excellent device. I can't wait to see it in action. Now we have another reason to count down until June, besides summer vacation.

As I mentioned I also heard news about the TouchSpeak today. I had e-mailed DJ on behalf of a speech therapist friend looking for some ideas for a client. DJ let me know that the device will run on the HTC Dopod phone, which has a five inch screen and 5 1/8" wide by 3 3/4" high by 5/8" thick for dimensions. He will send me the weigh, the price, and the rental price tomorrow. It should be ready for rentals in June.

1 comment:

  1. The DynaVox V (and Series 4) does offer a data logging feature that captures the kinds of information you were asking about and a lot more. It creates log files that list the time-stamped actions of the user as the use the system. These files can then be viewed in an external editor or further processed to gather statistics about the user's actions. What we don't have right now are good tools for viewing and manipulating the data on the device itself, but we're aware of the importance of this and are working to rectify the situation.

    Bob Cunningham
    VP of R&D, DynaVox Technologies


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