tango! is an electronic device aimed at people with handicaps such as Cerebral Palsy and Autism.
Developed by Blink Twice, a New York based company, tango! belongs to a new generation of technological devices that facilitate synthesised speech. Effectively, it allows its users, particularly children with communication difficulties, to combine a large range of communication methods, including speech technology.
Blink Twice has collaborated with leading companies such as Frog Design and Flextronics, in order to ensure the device has a human and natural touch which is immediately usable, while avoiding the pitfalls and technical difficulties normally associated with such devices. Blink Twice joined forces with Acapela to create a voice system that allows its users not only to construct sentences, but relationships as well.
tango! : the next generation of made-to measure voices
tango! is the first device of its kind, enabling users to mix pre-registered and digitally improved sentences, with synthesised voices of the highest quality. Users can choose from more than 2500 selected sentences stored on the device or create their own sentences word for word, or letter by letter. tango! is the first speech generator that takes into account the fact that certain phrases are used more than others, and displays this via the ‘Phrase First' system.
The device also incorporates an integrated camera which can be used to enrich the image bank.The new photo can then be stored and easily associated with a pre-recorded sentence. The new images correspond easily with sentences recorded by an adult and are then transformed via Voice Morphing &trade into a child's voice, so that the voice is perfectly adapted to the child's age.
The high quality voice synthesis of Acapela recognises each word chosen by the individual from an extensive bank of icons. Blink Twice hopes to respond to the demands of children by developing a range of children's voices with Acapela that are compatible not only with the personality of the user but also with the pre-registered voice.
“The combination of the different communication tools allows children not only to say what they wish, but also to do it with their own emotions and personality,” comments the CEO of Blink Twice, Richard Ellenson. “In collaborating closely with Acapela, we created a tool that gives the capacity to achieve unweilding emotional communication through the vocalisation of the user's thoughts.”
tango! has surpassed expectations and has been well received by the American media. Richard Ellenson and his son Thomas, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy were voted “People of the year” by ABC World News, for revolutionising the way in which people perceive assistive technology.
The high quality voice synthesis of Acapela allows the user to vocalise any text in real time, using the energetic and natural voices of men and women. Acapela also facilitates the amendment and melody adjustment of children's voices. It provides another way to use assistive technologies to help its many users to communicate freely in their everyday life.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions and communciators allow users with impairments or restrictions on the production or comprehension of spoken or written language to live and communicate with their environments with more autonomy. Acapela voices enrich AAC solutions & communicators turning any written words into spoken messages.