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Jeannie
20th October 2011, 11:53
The world’s smallest text-to-speech device has been launched by Cambridgeshire firm Toby Churchill.

Just slightly bigger than a smartphone, it can fit in a pocket or handbag – yet it packs a punch when competing to be heard in a noisy room.

And it means disabled people can hold their own in the kind of conversations the rest of us take for granted.

The usual qwerty keyboard is replaced by a handful of quick-touch controls – that will even produce sounds like a laugh or a ‘hmm’ in the course of a chat.

“It enables you to generate words, phrases and sentences rapidly – there’s quick access to everything,” said marketing director John Hicks.

“It’s really important to be able to get your message out within the context of a conversation.

“Our customers want to be heard – they don’t want to be ignored as a person who’s not part of the conversation.

“And they want their communication aid to be discrete. They don’t want the focus to be on their device.”

The new Lightwriter Swift device is aimed at people who have lost their speech through stroke, brain injury or cancer as well as those suffering from conditions like cerebral palsy and motor neurone disease.

“Conversational analysis has shown that you’ve got half a second to get a response into a conversation,” said product manager Neel Shearer. “This will allow you to do that.”

The Toby Churchill company, based in Over, takes its name from its founder who set up the firm when he became disabled and lost his speech following an attack of encephalitis.

http://www.cambridgefirst.co.uk/business/world_s_smallest_text_to_speech_device_1_1092990#. Tp6KkCpmJFA.twitter

Barefoot John
21st October 2011, 06:13
Hi Sarah,

im glad you said that about the iphone.

Yes iphone has a better app that works very well plus connected via the usb cable, you can get your pc to talk as well, text to talk

Samsung and now Blackberry have a very similar utilities and will run on nearly all their smart phones.

And with both companies the software is very cheap so not having to carry around different items when its already on your phone.

I have been working with mobile phones right back to when only Cellnet and Vodafone were the only companies back in early 90's,

Take care.

John.

Jeannie
21st October 2011, 09:21
Hi Sarah,

Why don't you trust Toby? I've never had dealings with them so know nothing about them. If the new lightwriter swift and iphone doesn't work with a switch then they are pretty useless to someone with mnd. I know the ipad works with a switch but how well It works I don't know.


Hi Jeannie

I don't trust Toby Churchill. I bet it can't be used with a switch. Isn't the iphone the same?

Doubtful Sarah :confused:

Robyn Copley-Hirst
21st October 2011, 10:10
Hi Sarah,

I mentioned in a post on therapy box a while back (I'll locate it if you like) that the ipad speech app they use can be used with an existing switch and switch box. But - and it's a big but really, the switch only works with that one app... not the rest of the iphone itself. So, as things stand at the minute you wouldn't be able to access the speech app yourself without using your hands, but once in the app can work with a switch.

I wrote to the company to clarify this and they are trying to work on this but they are having to work within the limitations of the apple devices (iphone/pad etc). They are hopeful that newer releases will be easier to work with and adapt using switches wirelessly or other means that do not require touch.

Can the ipad/phone be used with a switch? Sort of.

I hope that begins to clear things up for you.

Robyn

Londoneye
21st October 2011, 15:00
I have the new iphone 4s and i spoke to Apple and from what they said that the new Apple iphone 4s is using the new A5 chip and it will be very capable of running a switch.

plus they are releasing a few more apps that will be very useful to disabled users including ones with limited or no use of their arms.

They did say that the older iphone 3, 3s and 4 are not quite powerful enough to run all switches but the new A5 chip is much more capable.

jadedjohn
21st October 2011, 15:36
Same for iPad 2 - a5 chip, there

http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/product/blue2-bluetooth-switch

http://www.therapy-box.co.uk/Predictable%20Switch%20Guide.pdf

Barefoot John
21st October 2011, 15:39
That's great info about the new iphone 4s and ipad 2, as i'm getting the new iphone 4s with the new A5 chip on Monday morning :)

Jeannie
21st October 2011, 17:49
Great news on the 4s and ipad regarding switch, just a shame that many folks sadly won't be able to afford to purchase one at £500+...even on contract they range from £30-£60 per month.

Barefoot John
21st October 2011, 17:56
Iphone 4s FREE to long standing customers with same networks ;)

Its so good having friends in the right place :)

Very happy smiling John :)

Londoneye
21st October 2011, 17:59
Nice one John

I just got my iphone 4S with a free upgrade this morning, you must be with same network a long time like me??

Londoneye
21st October 2011, 19:04
Hello Jeannie

i am on Orange and i have been with them since they first started as a mobile phone company many years ago

come to think about it, i really don't know how many years i have been with them and i still got my very first digital mobile phone but it don't work any more :(
it was such a simple phone in its day because it did not even have SMS in those days

Robyn Copley-Hirst
24th October 2011, 11:29
Hi Everyone,

I have had to step into this thread. I've removed several posts as they were not in the spirit of a supportive community. They were a private dispute which found its way onto a public thread and therefor negatively effected the whole forum and those looking to come here for your usual good natured support and advice. There were some related posts which were absolutely fine, that I've removed as they were left completely out of context so it may be that if your post has been removed this is why. If there are any questions please direct them to myself via private message or email.

I hope everyone understands,

best wishes to everyone,

Robyn

Batty
24th October 2011, 12:48
Well done Robyn, Going to have to award you an NVQ(not very quick) LOL

Jeannie
24th October 2011, 13:53
Thank you Robyn

Robyn Copley-Hirst
24th October 2011, 13:57
Well done Robyn, Going to have to award you an NVQ(not very quick) LOL

We can't monitor this 24/7, Batty, but we do try to spot things earlier :).

For a faster response to anything in the future you can always just click the 'report post' button on the left of each post. It sends an email to all of our moderators and myself so we have a much better chance of acting quickly between us.

Robyn

Jeannie
24th October 2011, 14:01
I have emailed Churchill inquiring whether their new 'Swift' works with a switch.

sarahezekiel
24th October 2011, 14:11
Thanks Robyn.

Jeannie, do you know how much Toby Churchill are charging for it?

Sarah

Jeannie
24th October 2011, 14:14
Nope, didn't think to ask Sarah. I will ask if they reply

john
24th October 2011, 14:19
We can't monitor this 24/7, Batty, but we do try to spot things earlier :).

For a faster response to anything in the future you can always just click the 'report post' button on the left of each post. It sends an email to all of our moderators and myself so we have a much better chance of acting quickly between us.

Robyn
It isn't very obvious that there is a "report this post" button. I must say I was tempted to join in the debate on here but couldn't see that any intervention would have done any good. Your solution seems the best and now I know how it is done I shall certainly report if I see anything like it developing again.
John

Robyn Copley-Hirst
24th October 2011, 15:02
It isn't very obvious that there is a "report this post" button. I must say I was tempted to join in the debate on here but couldn't see that any intervention would have done any good. Your solution seems the best and now I know how it is done I shall certainly report if I see anything like it developing again.
John

Many thanks, John,

It definitely isn't the most obvious button, I agree. Feel free to use it whenever you feel it's needed now you know it's there.

Best Regards,

Robyn

Batty
24th October 2011, 16:25
We can't monitor this 24/7, Batty, but we do try to spot things earlier :).

For a faster response to anything in the future you can always just click the 'report post' button on the left of each post. It sends an email to all of our moderators and myself so we have a much better chance of acting quickly between us.

Robyn
Thanks for pointing this out Robyn. Regards Mark

Robyn Copley-Hirst
24th October 2011, 19:48
Robyn needs to empty her inbox to await responses etc

All done, John. I'll await your message and we'll continue via PM.

Best Regards,

Robyn

miranda
24th October 2011, 21:22
Robyn I am so relieved that a strong stand has been made. Hopefully the forum can go back to being supportive, informative and FUN!

Mr-Tumble
25th October 2011, 14:22
Hello, after reading about this device, i phoned Toby but the "swift" is not available till January next year
no price yet as it was for marketing reasons it was released

Contact Vicky at the office and she will explain all about this device

Jeannie
25th October 2011, 15:43
Below is email from Churchill...seems your best off with a Mobile with text-to-speech app.

The new Lightwriter Swift has been designed to meet the needs of those alternative communication aid users who have requested a device that will fit neatly in the palm of the hand, and respond in a similar way to mainstream mobile phone proudcts. As such, the product will not scan, and will not be able to be accessed by a switch.

Please let me know if you have other questions,

Best regards,

James
James Rowe

Managing Director

sarahezekiel
26th October 2011, 14:43
I had an email from John Hicks at Toby Churchill. He told me that Toby Churchill changed management in 2007 and are a much better operation. I've asked him to let me trial a communication device, with a switch, so that I can see the change. In the meantime, I've removed my derogatory comments about the company. If they let me trial a device, I'll report back. Watch this space!

Sarah

Jeannie
26th October 2011, 18:34
They will Sarah

Crazy girl
28th May 2012, 22:30
I had an email from John Hicks at Toby Churchill. He told me that Toby Churchill changed management in 2007 and are a much better operation. I've asked him to let me trial a communication device, with a switch, so that I can see the change. In the meantime, I've removed my derogatory comments about the company. If they let me trial a device, I'll report back. Watch this space!

Sarah

Hi Sarah

Did you ever trial this communication device with a switch?

Thanks
Tracy

sarahezekiel
28th May 2012, 22:45
Hi Tracy

He didn't get back to me. An ipad with software is much cheaper and more fun. I can't see a future for the lightwriter.

If people with MND can't use their hands I think go straight for Tobii eyegaze. Switches are difficult to use and slow.

Best wishes

Sarah

berdbrain
30th May 2012, 20:57
Hi there just reading these interesting posts - my sisterinlaw has PBP and has an ipad,please can you tell me if she can buy this A5 chip to use for text/talk? she has something that translates her written words into speech but it is quite slow...is this A5 chip a fast app?
thanks

MND Connect helpline