16-Year-Old Creates Device That Converts Exhalation Into Speech

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People who suffer from disabilities like Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease are known to have an extremely difficult time when trying to communicate. A 16-year-old from Indian has created a device that could be a promising solution to this difficultly as it allows you to communicate with your breathing. The device called Talk, works by apprehending short bursts of air as Morse Code, turning them into words and sentences of speech.

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Business Insider reports that the inventor named Arsh Shah Dilbaghi, is one of the 15 finalists in Google’s Global Science Fair project. Arsh says that approximately 1.4 percent of the world suffers from serious disorders that make regular communication almost impossible. He also added that the current devices that are being marketed for assisting with the complication are expensive and bulky, and do not offer a suitable alternative to regular speech. Owing to his observation, he decided to create a gadget that was affordable, faster, portable and generic.

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The Talk device is operated by recognising two distinguishing exhales from a person in Morse Code, a short burst and a slightly longer one, mimicking the action of dots and dashes in the information transmitting method. A tube that is placed directly under the users nose will record the breaths and then transfer the burst of exhales to an external device. This device will then covert the collected into words and sentences, and then read them aloud by one of nine synthesised voices. Talk also has a second mode which lets the user speak in specific commands or phases.

In his proposal for the science fair, Arsh wrote, “I got predicted results by testing the device with a person suffering from SEM [a disease of the brain] and Parkinson’s disease.”

The wining project in the Google Global Science Fair will receive £30,000 ($50,000) in scholarship funding, a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands and a visit to Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport in the Mojave Desert.