Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Springboard Lite from PRC

PRC has released a very cute device called the SpringBoard Lite. Like the Dynavox M3 it is for AAC beginners or emergent communicators. The device is pretty tiny and looks a lot like the OLPC at first glance. It is a dynamic display device using Minspeak Icons or Mayer-Johnson PCS symbols and digitized (groan - that means you record it yourself... i.e. your voice on some kids device) speech. It has all the fancy things like IR environmental controls, visual scenes, and limited bluetooth. It also has a great offer of integrated Intellitools Classroom Suite, which may end up being a real selling point. Of course it may be a Lite device, but it doesn't come at a Lite price at over $2,00o. It means committing to Minspeak for the user, which means committing to training everyone else in Minspeak and hoping the user "gets" it. Lastly I will make the same point I made about the M3, why bother getting an "emergent" user device? The price is not that different so go for the gold, just get a Springboard or a Dynavox V or whatever the non-emergent device is so the child isn't stuck with it until insurance or the district will pay for the "real thing". Plus, digitized speech, ick.

Here is the run down from the PRC website:

Ideal for AAC beginners!
SpringBoardTM Lite
Smaller. Lighter. Portable.
And ready to communicate!

PRC is proud to introduce the new SpringBoardTM Lite, a smaller, lighter, and simplified version of our popular SpringBoardTM speech output device.

Designed for children and other entry-level AAC communicators, SpringBoard Lite measures just 7.3" square... weighs just 2.5 lbs.... is available in five bold colors... and features a built-in handle for maximum portability.

Its simplified operating system makes the dedicated SpringBoard Lite easy-to-use right out of the box. And, with 4-, 8-, 15-, and 32-location display options, its communication capacity can grow along with the user's capabilities.

Vocabulary-Building Features

  • Five integrated versions of pre-stored vocabulary using 4-, 8-, 15-, and 32-location options with a special emphasis on those core words that power most speech.
  • Pre-stored Activity Row categories and vocabulary plus Pages with expanded word sets.
  • Six User Areas for creating transitional vocabularies, storing vocabularies for multiple individuals on one device, or creating and storing multiple assessment and training protocols.
  • Specially created Visual Scenes for concept and language learning.
  • Optional IntelliTools® Classroom Suite bundle.
Easy Access Methods

  • Direct selection
  • Single- and dual-switch scanning
  • Joystick
  • 8-, 15-, and 32-location clear keyguards to aid direct selection (plus custom keyguard options).
  • USB connectivity for use with headpointing systems, mouse, and mouse emulation access products.
The ease of changing access options makes SpringBoard Lite a valuable training and assessment device at schools and AAC centers.
User-Friendly Design

  • Widescreen TFT display for brighter, improved picture quality.
  • Built-in media player for playing MP3, WMA, and WAV files in stereo.
  • Infrared environmental control functions to control common IR devices, such as lights and TV/DVD players.
  • USB flash memory port and Secure Digital card slot enable faster, easier memory backup and transfer options.
  • Basic serial output to allow some computer access options.
  • Pre-loaded male and female recorded voices.
  • Optional Integrated Bluetooth® connectivity (for computer access and wireless switch use only).
Customization Aids

  • Access to over 3,000 Minspeak® icons in the device for customizing vocabulary.
  • Over 8,500 optional PCS symbols for core vocabulary, Activity Rows, and Pages.
  • Simple formats for importing icons or digital photographs to personalize the device and create Visual Scenes.
  • Simple steps to creating Activity Rows and Pages for specialized vocabulary.
  • New PRC Application and Support Software (PASSTM) has numerous special features, including an option to use simple drop-down menus plus tips and information to make it easier to customize and support the device.
Visual Scenes
Pre-loaded or custom-built Visual Scenes pages make learning vocabulary more entertaining.
Special Clinician Tools

  • Visual Scenes capability allows the creation of special teaching pages with "hot spots." Import a wide range of graphic formats, such as BMP, JPG, GIF, and many others.
  • Introductory set of therapy exercises.
  • "Exploration Wizard" for exploring targeting, picture recognition, associations, and vocabulary options.
  • "Quick Start" print guide that highlights the device's key operations.
  • PRC's Language Activity Monitoring (LAM) software for monitoring communication progress through the recording of each language "event."
  • Vocabulary can be saved and transferred into more advanced PRC devices as skills expand.
Available in Five Bold Colors!
Device Specifications

  • Weight: 2 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Dimensions: 7.3"w x 7.3"h x 1.8"d
  • Display size: 7" WVGA (diagonal measurement)
  • Speech memory: Over 60 minutes of digitized speech capacity
  • Battery life: 6-8 hours (normal operation)
SpringBoard Lite Standard Configuration

(SBL-AEN) $2,195

  • Battery charger
  • Complete operator manual on CD-ROM
  • "Quick-Start" operator's guide
  • Unity® vocabulary guide
  • Starter curriculum
  • One-year PRC warranty


  1. Just got my hands on this last week. It is very nice and significantly lighter that the previous springboard or any similar device. : )

    Also, note that Classroom Suite is just added on and there are simply pages to control activities, as was on previous Unity setups. Still cool to get it all in one.

    One last thing: I totally agree with you about getting a high powered computer based aac device, but in other parts of the country the funding works much differently and for instance it is smart to let the school buy a springboard, so that you can utilize insurance to get a say, vanguard a year down the road. (Or Mighty Mo to a DV series let's say) Anyways, that insurance nearly always covers AAC devices in MA is such a gift. Not enough people know about that!

  2. Just wanted to say the Springboard Lite I saw had a great voice from the was a kid's voice that was very clear. My reason for wanting the springboard lite is the ability to carry it around easily and still have a nice size screen.


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