The award-winning French movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
brought to life the memoirs of Elle
magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby - the victim of a major stroke at the young age of 42, resulting in him suffering “locked in syndrome”, where the brain is active but the body is not. Bauby can only communicate by blinking one eye and, with the help of a patient speech theraprist, writes his memoirs. For other stroke victims or sufferers of brain injuries who have lost the ability to speak and write, communicating with the outside world can be frustrating. Guger Technologies, makers of intendiX, has created a home-based system where wearers of a special EEG cap can communicate via a computer with the special software installed.
In addition to its recent 7-year / 150,000km warranty announcement
, Kia has created further interest with the showing of its UVO in-car voice and touch activated communication and entertainment system. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft
, the system offers users an easy to use interactive hands-free alternative that uses speech recognition for making and taking calls, sending text messages and managing in-car music. Featuring a 4.3” full color touchscreen display and built-in 1GB storage with the ability to rip CD’s and MP3’s onto the system’s “Jukebox”, the open platform UVO system also doubles as a rear view camera when the vehicle is in reverse.
Remember back in the 80s when Steve Vai used to make his guitar "talk" to David Lee Roth? That video clip is here
, but be warned, Roth's bare butt peeking through the holes in his leather chaps is one of the LEAST offensive things in the clip. It seems things have become more refined in the last 20-odd years. This fascinating clip shows how Austrian composer Peter Ablinger has programmed a mechanically-actuated piano to reproduce recorded human speech. And yes, you can somehow understand it.
The sad reality of Parkinson’s disease is that it indiscriminately affects 1.5 million people in the U.S alone, making it one of the most common degenerative neurological conditions with no known cause or cure. In the effort to make one of Parkinson’s many debilitating symptoms more manageable for sufferers, researchers have developed a new technology to overcome voice and speech impairment by playing a recording of ambient sound resembling the chatter of a busy restaurant.
Mobile device convergence is accelerating like crazy, with a new breed of smartphones packing enough power to run an impressive range of software. And some of these mobile applications are getting pretty freakin' amazing - take Ray Kurzweil's kReader for Symbian
, which allows blind or illiterate folk to point their phone camera at printed words and have them spoken aloud. Sakhr has gone a step further with an Arabic Spoken Translator for Blackberry devices. You speak English or Arabic into your handset, it transcribes, translates and speaks your phrase back in the other language, breaking down the language barrier in one fell swoop.