The blind can read but the dumb are not left out. Thanks to Arsh Shah Dilbagi, a 16-year Indian whose innovation would bring massive relief to persons incapable of speaking.
The device, named “TALK” by Arsh will specifically help people with disabilities like Locked-IN Syndrome and ALS, to communicate using only their breath.
Arsh device was the only gadget to get selected from Asia at the Google’s Global Science Fair this year. The little boy, a student of 11th standard at DAV International School, Panipat also claims his device could allow persons will complete speech paralysis to communicate in ways never seen before.
“I even got predicted results by testing the device on a person suffering from encephalopathy (global brain dysfunction) and Parkinson’s disease,” he has claimed in his proposal to Google. He adds, “In the future, I would like to add auto-predictions to my computing engine and integrate TALK with modern technology like Google Glass to make it easier for people with developmental disabilities.”
Arsh device comes in two modes, one to communicate in English and another which gives specific commands and phrase. Nine difference voices can be enabled based on gender and age in the current build of “TALK”
“TALK” falls under Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device category, devices in such category usually comes with a hefty price tag, but Arsh’s device would be the world’s fastest and cheapest AAC.
“AAC devices available in the market are very expensive, slow, bulky and not generic. I decided to find a better solution — an AAC device which is faster, portable and generic and costs only $80 (Rs 5,000), making it affordable to the large population,” – Arsh explains.
How TALK Works
The device converts two distinguishable exhales with different intensities. TALK then converts them to electrical signals with the help of a microphone. A microprocessor (Morse engine) processes the signals, labelling short exhales as “dots” and longer exhales as “dashes”. These are further interpreted through the Morse code which converts the signals into words and then sends them to another microprocessor for synthesizing them into voice. How amazing!
Arsh innovation is very impressive, most especially remarkable for us because it goes to show that anyone can change the world, irrespective of gender, age, race and nationality. The desire to give hope to the hopeless at the cheapest price is part of the things that inspired Arsh into designing TALK. If you have an idea that could put smiles on the faces of those who lack the basic instinct to survive, why not trust yourself and make a move? You only need one step and every other thing will fall in place nicely.