Intel has recently released A ssistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT). It is a software that can help people suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) to communicate. The programme which interprets visual signals and translates them into words, which are then ‘spoken’ by a machine, has been published online.

The software which was developed originally for renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has been used by many other sufferers of the motor neurone disease (MND).

The Australian

ACAT is an open source platform to enable people with MND and other disabilities to have full access to the capabilities and applications of their computers through very constrained interfaces suitable for their condition. It also enables users to easily communicate with others through keyboard simulation, word prediction and speech synthesis. Users can perform a range of tasks such as editing, managing documents, navigating the Web and accessing emails.

Here is how Intel keeps Hawking talking:

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.

The application can be downloaded on a code sharing site GitHub .