Comprehensive Augmentative Communication System

Period of Performance: 07/01/1998 - 06/30/1999


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Enkidu Research, Inc.
Lockport, NY 14094
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (adapted from author's abstract): Continued research and development of a comprehensive software aid for assisting persons with communicative disorders is proposed. The Integrated Modifiable Package of Augmentative Communication Technologies (IMPACT) incorporates a wide range of established and novel techniques for accelerating communication embedded within a customizable framework. Many augmentation techniques rely upon a statistical engine which can accurately predict future language elements for immediate use selection. A series of investigations into prediction methods based on statistical language models will be undertaken. Studies will examine possible gains in communication rate provided by new methods of augmentation. The software for IMPACT will be ported from C code written for the Unix X environment to C++ code for the Microsoft Windows environment. A hierarchical graphical interface will be designed to provide users, clinicians, and researchers with varying levels of control over the sophisticated options which define the appearance and function of the package. The system will be field tested by users of AAC technology. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The IMPACT software is targeted at the 2.3 million Americans with severe communication disorders, providing augmented communication capabilities in an inexpensive and convenient package. A significant secondary application is for predictive data entry in environments where traditional keyboard support cannot be provided due to size limitations (pages, cell phones, and electronic organizers) or environmental restrictions (public data kiosks and telephones).