Saturday, December 24, 2011

Autism: Communication and Language Development - Talkbox

Talkbox is a conceptual communication system targeted at autistic children with severe speech impairment.

Unlike popular communication systems that are predominantly text/voice based. talk box aims at creating a evolving and personalised visual language for children with autism.

At the core of Talkbox, lies an intelligent speech processing engine working in tandem with an object detection and identifying system.

Talkbox has a single arcade style button that can be used by the child or his/her parents, to take pictures of objects and people in the setting that the child inhabits.

These images can then be printed out on specifically formatted paper by the talk box and segregated by the parents according to the time/place.

The images on the left panel consists of people the child might need to contact and these can also vary based on time/place.

To create a message, the child taps on the button to release the lid and place the characters in the creation zone.

As soon as the child keeps the first message on the surface the camera begins recording.

The child taps on the image of the person he/she wants to message and tap the button to send the message.

The recipient can respond to the message using touch based smart phones by accessing the child's visual vocabulary online and using the same visuals the child knows.

For one to one communication the child can just use the visuals from his Talkbox and can physically construct the stories for communicating with others.

Elements of the child's vocabulary and messages can also be posted by the parents in a closed online community to create a richer vocabulary and examples for parents new to the system.

Talkbox is a personalisable communication system that enables a child with autism to communicate with his/her loved ones using a language he/she knows and lives in.

It takes advantage of the repetitive behavior that autistic children have to create an uncluttered time/place based vocabulary and connection list.

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