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Tango! – tackling speech handicaps, 21st century style


The Tango! is a new communications device aimed at helping those with severe speech problems, such as those with Cerebral Palsy and Autism, to communicate. The Windows CE based unit combines a digital camera and flash, with a recordable phrase generator which speaks a sentence out loud via a synthesised voice when a large icon button is pressed. There are a few of these ‘augmentative and alternative communicators’ around, but this one seems to be quite innovative. Priced at $6,899.00 or via rental plans.

 tango! is the first device of its kind, enabling users to mix pre-registered and digitally improved sentences, with synthesised voices of the highest quality. Users can choose from more than 2500 selected sentences stored on the device or create their own sentences word for word, or letter by letter. tango! is the first speech generator that takes into account the fact that certain phrases are used more than others, and displays this via the ‘Phrase First’ system. The device also incorporates an integrated camera which can be used to enrich the image bank.The new photo can then be stored and easily associated with a pre-recorded sentence. The new images correspond easily with sentences recorded by an adult and are then transformed via Voice Morphing ™, into a child’s voice, so that the voice is perfectly adapted to the child’s age.

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