Device Enables Deaf & HOH Have Real-Time Conversations:
The iCommunicator is an application designed to help persons who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate more effectively with others. It combines computer software and hardware and can interface with a user's hearing aids, cochlear implant speech processor, or FM listening system.
The solution facilitates real-time conversations by combining technologies that translate or convert spoken words into sign language, voice into text, and text into speech.
iCommunicator includes a database of over 30,000 words and 9,000 sign language video clips. When a hearing person speaks, the program translate their words into either text or sign language and speaks a deaf user's responses aloud.
The application enables deaf persons to communicate with the hearing world when a sign language interpreter isn't available. It can also increase literacy, make education more efficient, and enlarge employment opportunities that promote independence -- accessibility that can help schools and employers to comply with federal mandates.
Today, the iCommunicator is being used in K-12 education, post-secondary institutions, government, healthcare, and corporations throughout the United States and Canada.
How iCommunicator Translates Words:
With iCommunicator, a hearing person speaks normally, and the software -- powered by Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking -- converts his or her spoken words into text.
A deaf user can then type a response the computer can deliver as text or say aloud using text-to-speech.
The iCommunicator provides three types of real-time translation:
- Speech to Text
- Speech or Text to Video Sign-Language
- Speech or Text to Computer Generated Voice.
Once translated, a deaf or hard of hearing user can research words by:
- Looking them up using the built-in Dictionary / Thesaurus
- Executing web searches -- including one-click access to Google -- to learn more about the word.
iCommunicator Product Features:
- Speech Recognition: iCommunicator uses Dragon NaturallySpeaking to capture spoken words and covert them to text. Users train Dragon to understand their voice and speech idiosyncrasies with a 95 percent accuracy rate.
- iText Translation Software: With one click, iText copies electronic text from web content, email, and word processing documents and copies it to the iCommunicator Text Window where it can be translated into sign language or read aloud via text-to-speech.
- Built-in Dictionary and Thesaurus: Provides easy access to definitions, pronunciations, and usage examples, including:
240,000 words, compounds, and derived forms synonyms and antonyms
124,000 synonym sets and 156,000 root words
70 000+ pronunciations, with pop-up hint pronunciation key
49,000 usage examples.
- Built-in Text-to-Speech: iCommunicator can speak what you type. Its engine speaks incoming words in real-time or recites imported text to help users improve their speech recognition and intelligibility; also serves as voice for users who cannot speak. Users can choose a male or female voice and adjust its pitch and speed.
- Y-Cable Included: The iCommunicator provides a convenient means of connecting a peripheral hearing device, such as a hearing aid, FM system, or cochlear implant speech processor, directly to your computer.
- Customizable Settings: Users can adjust signing speed, text size and typeface, background colors, and can create "Quick Say" hot keys to have iCommunicator speak up to 21 frequently used sentences.
- Section 508 Compatibility: iCommunicator meets Section 508 requirements for electronic and IT accessibility and is compatible with Microsoft Accessibility Options, helping government agencies and businesses provide greater accessibility to internal and external clients.
iCommunicator Product Benefits:
iCommunicator provides users with consistent two-way communication accessible in different environments, including home, school, and the workplace. Benefits include
- Efficient, effective communication
- Equal access to acoustic information
- Improve spoken language comprehension
- Increase language and literacy skills
- Expand employment opportunities
- Enhance independence and self-confidence.
Interactive Solutions, a subsidiary of Teltronics known for its voice recognition applications, began developing the iCommunicator in 1999. PPR, Inc. purchased the iCommunicator in 2005.