Eighteen brilliant teenagers were advanced to the 2014 Google Science Fair finals. Arsh Shah Dilbagi, a 16-year-old student from Panipat, India, is one of those finalists. You’ve heard the phrase about how something wonderful can “take your breath away.” The device that Dilbagi has created will do just that by converting one’s breath into words. By doing so, it gives a voice to those who don’t have one.
Approximately 1.4 percent of the world’s population has the inability to speak resulting from various illnesses and handicaps, according to Business Insider, “forcing them to use an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to communicate.” Therefore, Dilbagi created his version of an AAC and named it TALK.
Dilbagi’s TALK will allow those with Parkinson’s, ALS, and anyone with a speech impairment to communicate like never before, as revealed in International Business Times.
While other AAC devices are large, slow in response, and extremely expensive (around the $7,000 range), Dilbagi’s is very much the opposite with a cost of only $80, as reported by the Examiner. This makes it an affordable, and much more appealing option, for those in need.
So, how does TALK actually work?
Business Insider explains that a micro-electrical-mechanical system (MEMS) microphone is placed under the user’s nose. TALK uses the person’s breath as signals via Morse Code and converts the dots or dashes to words. TALK’s microprocessor will then “speak” the user’s words and sentences aloud.
This is only the beginning for this young student from DAV International Public School for his project. Dilbagi tells Times of India, “In future, I would like to add auto-predictions to my computing engine and integrate TALK with modern technology like Google Glass to make it easier for people with development disabilities.”
As the only finalist from Asia in Google’s Science Fair Challenge, Dilbagi reveals, “I even got predicted results by testing the device on a person suffering from encephalopathy (global brain dysfunction) and Parkinson’s disease.”
This information was included in his proposal to Google.
Dilbagi’s father, Amit, is extremely proud of his intelligent son and his ideas. Amit told the Times of India that it has always been a dream of his son’s to do something meaningful for mankind. It appears that dreams is becoming a reality.
“His (Dilbagi) attention has always been towards applied science projects. I will request Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union health minister Harshvardhan to consider this project for the countless people in need for such a device in our country.”
Spoken like a true supportive Dad.
The winner of the 2014 Google Science Fair, who will be announced later this month, will be rewarded with a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, a visit to the Virgin Galactic Spaceport, and $50,000 in scholarship funding.
Dilbagi gives his perspective in very simple terms.
“It’s my turn to change the world.”
[Photo Credit: ibnlive.in.com]