Cosmo genius, Stephen Hawking has been in a wheelchair for quite a while now. His only means of communication is flexing his cheek muscles. An IT system translates theses movements in to words. This process is quite slow and generates one word per minute.
However, quite recently Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has come to the rescue of the brilliant scientist and has created a system in collaboration with SwiftKey, the typing specialist that allows Hawking to use a speech system that is better than before. This has been so effective that Hawking himself feels that it has been ‘life changing’ for him.
The system is called Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit; ACAT, and has been under development for over two years, that has been designed in a way that it fits quite perfectly with Hawking’s needs and requirements. The scientist has been using the apparatus for quite a while now and has had better communication with the masses. He plans to continue to test the setup for a few more weeks in privacy.
Once ACAT clears the test phase, it is expected that Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will release the source code. This will then be an open source project and will be available globally to developers to experiment with the code and develop new technologies, using it as a base. However, there will be a source code that runs a program which is unique for Hawking. This tailor made will be supported by SwiftKey’s language models and prognostic text library.
This tool hasn’t only helped one man; it has actually proved to be an aid for the whole of mankind. Hawking is not just any scientist. His discoveries and theories are revolutionary. Through this apparatus, he will be able to communicate in a more effective manner. This will help him in authoring more ground breaking books and deliver lectures to masses. What helps even more is Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)’s decision to release the source code for the rest of the world.
The technology developed by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and SwiftKey is found on laptops, smartphones, and tablets nowadays. What makes the Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) version different is the availability of predictive text library, that provides a suitable word that fits to situation and helps interpret a statement in most related contexts. When delivering a lecture, pace is more important than accuracy. For writing a book, the criteria is just opposite. This is what makes ACAT different from the other similar technologies available on the market.
As soon as the source code is made public, tech companies and businesses will take up the task to build various helpful ground-breaking technologies that are similar to the one Hawking is using.
ACAT should not be expected to create ripples generated by the likes of Firefox or Linus. It is, however, important that developers as well as tech companies keep an eye on how things move in this category and what business opportunities are available in this market. Furthermore, the innovative ACAT technology can be used to develop many other applications and services.