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  1. Hardware
August 20, 2015

Intel offer Stephen Hawking’s speech tech as open source

The source code is available on GitHub.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Intel software that gave Prof Stephen Hawking a voice has been released for developers around the world under a free software license.

Developed specifically for Prof Hawking, the Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT) is an open source platform that helps people with motor neuron diseases and other disabilities to easily communicate with others through keyboard simulation, speech synthesis, and word prediction.

It interprets visual signals and translates them into words that are "spoken" by a machine, and it also gives users the ability to edit, manage documents, and navigate the web.

ACAT uses visual cues from the user’s face to understand commands and in the case of Professor Hawking, it tracks the movements of his cheek muscle using a webcam.

The chipmaker expects that ACAT, that runs on Microsoft Windows 7 or higher, will help researchers developing new interfaces.

The platform is expected to be of great help to researchers who are working on new user interfaces, new sensing modalities, and word prediction.

The company has released the entire source code on code-sharing site GitHub.

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Intel said: "Our hope is that, by open sourcing this configurable platform, developers will continue to expand on this system by adding new user interfaces, new sensing modalities, word prediction and many other features.

"ACAT is designed to run on Microsoft Windows machines and can interface to different sensor inputs such as infrared switches, camera, push buttons, and more."

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