Sunday, December 17, 2006

More About Imagetalk

When writing up Imagetalk for the last post I discovered they have a couple of free downloads and began playing around with them. The first is the Imagetalk Book Editor Feature. Book Editor allows you to make communication books to be sent wirelessly to the Imagetalk device of your choice. Soon, however, it will allow you to print the books, which would make paper communication boards. Book Editor allows you to download five symbols sets (Imagetalk, PCS, Pictograms, Bliss Symbolics and a set for the Butterfly Environmental Control Feature. Once you understand the basics, which I "got" in about twenty minutes but playing around and using the help features, but could also be learned from the PDF Manual, you can make a board/book in about five minutes. The system is intuitive using drag and drop, which makes so much more sense then the switching from the board to the symbol finder like you do in Boardmaker. However, there are only a few page set up features and your symbols will end up in a grid of your choosing. Thus the simplicity and ease of Book Editor limits your flexiblity considerably in board design compared to Boardmaker. Book Editor runs on the Java Platform, which means you will need Java Runtime Environment (which you probably already have). The program runs "online" meaning once you register and have a password you can share books with other users with ease. Book Editor runs on Mac or Windows.

You can also download from Imagetalk the full Imagetalk for Desktop/Tablet for free to try. It is a pretty cool program. Much more intuitive than Speaking Dynamically, the Dynavox Software or Satillo's ChatPC software (those are the ones I happen to know well). Again, you lose quite a bit of flexibility and extended features for the sake of ease and intuitiveness, but for many users that's fine. The program will uses a lot of your memory. If you can I would download and run it from a flash drive or external hard drive. I had some trouble making it talk and had to fiddle around and re-download to make it work - I still don't know exactly how I fixed it. The speech is supported by the Acapela Software, which I think was what the problem was, but I am not sure.

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