Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Korea's AAC Device: KidsVoice
From their website:
KidsVoice is a tool for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). AAC allows Stephen Hawking, a world-renowned physicist, to communicate despite suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. KidsVoice has developed the first product in Korea, which is also the third AAC device in the world following Canada and the United States. A special education tool for students with cerebral palsy or developmental disabilities, the device is a great aid in speech development, academic learning, and adaptation to one’s surroundings. With 3200 symbolic images, the interface is designed to meet the needs of disabled students.
KidsVoice features the high-performance VoiceText Engine, which generates human voice by analyzing text input. It preserves the natural rhythm of language for accurate pronunciation and intonation. The recently developed KidsVoice supports male and female voice. In Korea, all other electronic products do not offer a male voice as it takes up more memory. However, with KidsVoice, users can choose between male and female voice.
More notably, the natural language processing function produces natural voice even when there is improper word spacing. Also, commonly used sentences can be easily recalled, and there is real-time recommendation from the vast database of 1500 sentences. KidsVoice allows editing of symbolic images as well as voice recording and playback. The device is portable, strongly built, well-designed, and comes at an affordable price that is one-third of foreign products. KidsVoice can be used by anyone with autistic disorder, language disorder, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, developmental disability, and hearing difficulties.
KidsVoice is optimized for use with Microsoft’s Win CE. Developed with Visual Studio.NET, it operates on a Compact Framework platform. Even with Win CE.NET’s limit of 32mb per process and a low-end CPU, KidsVoice has resolved the problem of slow processing for the 3200 symbolic images and 1500 recommended sentences. Noted for its 2004 launching of the KAIST Technology Development Team, UBQ has participated in active research since 2003.