New mobile app gives a voice to those with communications challenges
For those living with aphasia, autism, and other conditions that affect speech ability, communicating with friends and loved ones can be a challenge. MyVoice, a mobile app and server system that operates on iPhone and Android devices, gives users with these conditions a voice by simply tapping words and pictures on a screen.
"People living with aphasia talk about the fear and isolation they sometimes feel because they cannot communicate as they once did," says Aphasia Researcher and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Alexandra Carling-Rowland. "MyVoice will help to increase communication confidence, participation and independence."
Launching today, MyVoice is the first assistive and augmentative communication (AAC) device to introduce location-aware vocabulary that suggests useful words and phrases based on a user's location. At Tim Horton's, for example, MyVoice instantly generates items like "Tim Bits" and "Double Double" for use in conversation.
MyVoice was developed within the Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab (TAGlab), under the direction of Professor Ron Baecker in the Department of Computer Science. The mandate of the TAGlab is to facilitate research and development to support aging throughout the life course. The lab identifies "sweet spots" where technology seems relevant to human need, then envisions ways in which the technology could address those needs. The lab then designs and tests prototypes. The technology will be further supported through the University of Toronto Innovations and Partnerships Office (IPO) with respect to partnerships, commercialization, and funding.
"This is an excellent example of how university research makes a direct and positive impact on the challenges that face people around the world," says Professor Paul Young, Vice President, Research at U of T. "MyVoice is just one of the many projects our Innovations and Partnerships Office is developing with U of T faculty so we can move our brilliant research from our campuses to the global marketplace."
MyVoice is dramatically more affordable than traditional speaking aids. Where traditional aids average in cost at $12,000, MyVoice allows users to try the technology for free and upgrade to a full featured version for a $30-monthly subscription cost.
"More than 90 per cent of people with communication challenges use primitive communication aids, or no aids at all," says MyVoice CEO, Alexander Levy. "MyVoice will always be accessible to anyone with a communication challenge."
Along with already received funding from Google, Android, and NSERC, MyVoice has received requests from institutions, collaborators, and school boards to trial the technology with their constituents. The device is currently in use at a school in the Toronto District School Board.
"I was completely blown away by MyVoice," says Researcher Dr. Rhonda McEwen at the University of Toronto. "It absolutely met so many deficits I had in current research with other applications I was using."Some children have no verbal communication. MyVoice gives them a chance to cross closer to our world, where we have words and voices."
More information: To learn more about MyVoice, visit www.myvoiceaac.com
Provided by University of Toronto
- Pre-stored phrases make it easier to be part of a conversation Jun 21, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Computerized writing aids make writing easier for persons with aphasia Feb 03, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Technology helps kids learn to communicate Feb 20, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Google advances on mobile payment system, makes partnerships with MasterCard, Citigroup Mar 28, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Wii-like technologies may help stroke survivors improve communication skills Aug 19, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
High blood glucose is associated with poor outcomes in hospitalized patients, and use of intensive insulin therapy (IIT) to control hyperglycemia is a common practice in hospitals. But the recent evidence does not show a ...
Other 19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
Other May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) new medical school will be pioneering the use of plastinated bodies for medical education in Singapore.
Other May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
A 2012 survey of internal medicine residents at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – one of the nation's leading teaching hospitals – found that more than half rated the training they had received in addiction and other ...
Other May 22, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Early use of tracheostomy for mechanically ventilated patients not associated with improved survival
For critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation, early tracheostomy (within the first 4 days after admission) was not associated with an improvement in the risk of death within 30 days compared to patients who ...
Other May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Kate O'Reilly's spring allergy survival kit includes the usual stuff - nasal sprays, allergy pills and a box of tissues. This season, she's added a new weapon to her line of defense: an app on her smartphone.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0