ACAT, Intel-developed speech software that allows Stephen Hawking to ‘speak’ after his paralysis, has been released for free public use
Intel ACAT Reveals, On the public code-sharing forum GitHub. T.High Speech software is one that allows Stephen Hawking to ‘speak’ through a computer after being permanently paralyzed by a paralyzed motor neurone disease (MND). The Assistive Context-Hour Toolkit (ACAT), designed for Professor Hawking, has a sensor that captures the movement of his cheek muscles, transcribes the collected information into text and delivers it to a speech synthesizer.
ACAT’s open-sourcing opens up new dimensions for researchers to develop similar interfaces to further help MND and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, who are crippled by their freedom of expression. Compatible with the Windows 7 platform, ACAT is capable of performing a variety of intuitive response-based tasks. Intel’s move is being seen as a puzzle to develop remedial measures to combat resistance that impair the human nervous system’s response and reflex systems.
Lama dancingChief Engineer Advance computing lab A. Intel, Told the BBC that ACAT has relevant menus for accessing different parts of a computer and his team has already tried different sensors. The open sourcing of the software by Intel has been done in the hope that the developers will take this advanced technology further to provide more services for persons with disabilities in the same way. The ACAT architecture already has an accelerometer sensor for people who can use only one finger and a button input system for those who can use it. It is also capable of opening a specific application or surfing the Internet.
Sai Prasad, Researcher scientist A. Intel Corporation Intel’s Open Source Forum 01.org states, “Our hope is that through this open source sourcing platform, developers will continue to expand into the system, adding new user interfaces, new sensing methods, word prediction and many more features.” ACAT is designed to run on Microsoft Windows machines (running Windows 7 and above) and can interface with various sensor inputs such as infrared switches, cameras, push buttons and more. “
Open-source software can be accessed from here. We, Team Digit, hope with all our hearts that this software will be used to empower many who have been crippled by this kind of disease.