Amazing but true. A 16-year-old Indian boy has created a device that could possibly revolutionize the way millions of people communicate. This genius teen from Panipat, India has developed a device, which he has named as “TALK”, uses signals from a person’s breath via Morse code, picked up by a sensor, and then converts them into speech.
The boy named Arsh Shah Dilbagi, a student of DAV Public School, Panipat has entered the Google’s Global Science Fair as the only finalist from Asia this year for developing the incredible device that will help people with developmental disabilities, like Locked-In Syndrome and ALS, communicate, using only their breath.
Approx. 1.4% of the world population suffers from such disorders, which is more than the population of Germany.
Claiming to have built the world’s fastest and cheapest Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device, a kind used by physicist Stephen Hawking, Dilbagi says it is not possible for all those who have motor-neuro disabilities to afford an AAC device that costs $7,000 (Rs 4.26 lakh).
“AAC devices available in the market are very expensive, slow, bulky and not generic. I decided to find a better solution — an AAC device which is faster, portable and generic and costs only $80 (Rs 5000), making it affordable to the large population,” he explains.
The young innovator says that TALK expects a person to be able to give two distinguishable exhales with varying intensities, for converting them into electrical signals using a microphone. The signals are processed by a microprocessor, called the ‘Morse engine’, which labels the short exhales as ‘dots’ and longer exhales as ‘dashes’. These are further interpreted through the Morse code which converts the signals into words and then sends them to another microprocessor for synthesizing them into voice. According to Dilbagi, TALK features two modes – one to communicate in English, and the other to give specific commands and phrases. These are communicated in nine different voices enabled according to gender and age.
Dilbagi’s father, Amit, said, that since childhood his son had dreamt of doing something meaningful for mankind.