Stephen Hawking’s speech tech released by Intel

Software that helps Prof Stephen Hawking to speak via a computer has been published online by Intel, the company that created it. The program interprets visual signals and translates them into words, which are then “spoken” by a machine.

Intel originally developed the technology specially for Prof Hawking, but it has been used by other sufferers of motor neurone disease (MND). Anyone is now able to download and experiment with the system. In the case of Prof Hawking, the Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT) interprets sensor data capturing movements in his cheek muscles but other parts of the body may be used.

Intel hopes that ACAT, which runs on Microsoft Windows 7 or higher, will be used by researchers developing new interfaces for sufferers of diseases like ALS. The programme and full source code have been published on code-sharing site GitHub. Source: BBC News

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