There are millions of people around the world suffering from speech impediment. And for them for the first time, a high school student has invented a device that can convert a person’s breath into speech.
Right now, 1.4% of the world’s population has very limited or no speech, due to conditions such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Locked-in syndrome (LIS), Encephalopathy (SEM), Parkinson’s disease, and paralysis. People, suffering from the aforementioned things, are unable to speak. Stephen Hawking, the very famous Physicist is suffering from speech impediment. Although, he is using a device that helps him communicate with others, but it’s extremely expensive, costing several thousand dollars.Besides, it is quite bulky.
But Arsh Shah Dilbagi, 16-year-old high school student from India, has developed a new technology called TALK which is a cheap and portable device to help people who are physically incapable of speaking. TALK is able to translate the user’s breath into electric signals using a special device called a MEMS Microphone. This technology is composed of a pressure-sensitive diaphragm etched directly into a silicon chip, and an amplifying device to increase the sound of the user’s breath.
By expelling two types of breaths into the device, with different intensities and timing, the user is able to spell out words in Morse code. A microprocessor interprets the breathes into dots and dashes, converting them into words. The words are then sent to a second microprocessor that synthesizes them into voice. The morse code can either be translated into English, or specific commands and phrases.
Dilbagi said that he has created this device specially for those people who do not have a means of properly expressing themselves, like those living with speech disorders, experience a lower than average life. His aim is to give millions of people like this a ‘voice’ for the first time. The device can be purchased for just $80. See the video below where Dilbagi talks about his device.