LISBON – 15th April, 2014 – Today Microsoft Portugal, in partnership with Imagina, presented Vox4all for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, an application for alternative and augmented communication. Vox4All is targeted at people with complex communicational needs, who due to sensory, cognitive or mental deficiencies are unable to communicate in an autonomous way.
Developed in Portugal, Vox4all is a pioneer project and the first for mobile devices, prioritizing alternative and augmented communication with mobility.
Available on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, this apps’ main objective is to supply these individuals with a channel of communication capable of replacing or complementing insufficient communicational capacities, easing up interaction and making it more inclusive through technology.
Vox4all replaces traditional methods of communication, such as cards, digital voice converters or computers and it promotes a proper development of communication and language for kids and adults unable to communicate in an autonomous way due to cognitive deficiencies acquired in different circumstances. Autism, cerebral paralysis or AVC victims are only some of the examples of cases where this software can be applied, enabling these individuals to have a better family, professional, social and educational integration.
The app is based on the principle of communicational grids, made by cells divided into lines and columns. These cells allow insertion of a series of visual, sound or textual content, which eases up the communication between the user and communication partners:
1. Visual content – Images, photographs or symbols stored in archives inside the device (+12k symbols available in the integrated library within the application)
2. Sound Content- Sounds are recorded through an internal recording system, integrated within the application and associated to a particular cell (whenever the user touches a specific cell it is played) or with a synthesized voice resource that reads the text that is typed in.
3. Personalized text- it takes into account the visual content of the cell and the desired communication associated to it.
The application integrates a group of example grids, making it possible to create new and modify existing ones. The system is built within the application and does not require an Internet connection. The flexibility of the application strives to make communication easier, accessible and more personalized, according to the needs of each user.
According to Vânia Neto, Director of education, citizenship and social responsibility at Microsoft Portugal “This project reflects how technology is integrated in order to be of service to society and all citizens; it can address concrete and prominent needs, as basic as communicational skills. Through developing these kinds of projects, we make a more inclusive society”
Secundino Correia, Director of Innovation of Imagina, underlined that “Vox4all is one of the most recent products of Imagina, it is the result of continuous work in innovation that we have been pursuing for the last 25 years, making an inclusive design for all of us. It is a product developed by Imagina, counting on valuable contributors, primarily UTAD, through their new Engineering in Rehabilitation and Human Accessibilities Master and several end users institutions testing and guiding the development in various functionalities, among them APPACDM, APPC, APPAD and CDC of Hospital Pediátrico de cOimbra”.
The software is now available for tablets and smartphones with Windows 8 in European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and English.
Developed by Cnotinfor, owner of the brand Imagina that addresses areas such as inclusion and education, the software was created as part of the investigation and development project TOPQX, (TodosPodem Aprender a Qualquer Hora, em Qualquer Lugar), co-financed by QREN, within the Programa Operacional Regional do Centro e da União Europeia – Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (MSFT) is a worldwide leader in software, services and solutions to help people and enterprises reach their full potential.
Imagina is a trademark of Cnotinfor, founded in 1988, a reference in inclusive software for learning, communicating and special educational needs.
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