Equipment Corner April 2005

by Tara Wood on Fri, 2005-04-01 17:00

Assistive technology is still emerging

Like those of other fields of technology, followers of the assistive technology industry can now anticipate annual unveilings of new products.

Several assistive items that can have an impact on quality of life were launched at recent, turn-of-the-year conferences and trade shows and will be of interest to people with ALS:

My Voice ID

My Voice ID

My Voice ID attached to a person's belt.
My Voice ID attached to a person's belt.

TrackerPro by Madentec. This is the latest, smallest model of a head-tracking device that enables people who can’t move their hands to access a computer with slight head movements. The TrackerPro is plug-and-play (no software needed), plugs into a USB port, and the golf-ball size camera can be easily mounted on laptops or monitors. $995. or (877) 623-3682.

Kelvin, a voice-activated thermostat by Independent Living Aids. This fully programmable thermostat can be preset for functions like raising or lowering the temperature at a given time during the day. It can be operated by touching buttons, or once it’s programmed, users can talk to the thermostat to raise or lower the temperature. Professional installation is recommended. $129. or (800) 537-2118.

Cyrano Communicator by OneWrite. Cyrano is a hand-held, portable, AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device. Its software is designed to enable speech-impaired individuals to communicate through a series of customizable images, text and sounds. $1,199. or (800) 268-6070.

WiVik (Version 3) by Prentke Romich. This on-screen keyboard provides access to any application in the latest Windows operating systems. Improvements include the availability of access by switch-based scanning, plus WordQ word prediction and abbreviation expansion. $350. or (800)262-1933.

Freedom Box and Freedom Box System Access by Serotek. Freedom Box is an Internet access device that allows users to operate computers and navigate the Web by voice command. The Freedom Box System Access is a program that makes any Windows XP or 2000 system accessible via voice command. It’s free for the home system of any person with a FreedomBox Network account ($9.95 per month), and can become portable when used in conjunction with FreedomBox devices like the PassKey ($99). or (866) 202-0520.

My Voice ID by Support Systems Product Development. This device allows a person to record audio medical information on a pager-sized recorder that can be easily accessible to emergency response personnel at the push of a button. It has a 60- to 80-word capacity and includes a medical card for printed health background information and emergency contact data. It can be clipped onto a belt, handbag or backpack for added visibility. $40. or (866) 667-5768.

Say-it SAM Tablet Systems by Words+. A new, tablet-style communication system features the Say-it! SAM communication software. The Tablet SM1 has scanning, an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, and multiple input modes, and weighs 3.9 pounds. Both the regular and the Medicare-approved “dedicated” model are $6,675. or (800) 869-8521.

MightyMo and MiniMo by DynaVox. These communication devices offer several preprogrammed, professionally recorded page sets, and capacity to hold more than 100 minutes of additional digitized speech and sound. Each has dedicated versions that meet Medicare or Medicaid guidelines. MightyMo is $2,795, MiniMo is $2,495. or (800) 344-2778.

MiniMo Mighty Mo



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