Intel Developed New Device That Helps Stephen Hawking Communicate Faster

Jan 23, 2013 12:25 IST

A team at Intel, the computer hardware firm created a device, which is said to allow Stephen Hawking, the renowned scientist of the world to communicate faster than before. With the help of new device, Hawking will be able to discuss his ideas about fundamental physics in speedy manner.

The 71-year old physicist has been affected by the degenerative disease, due to which he composes sentences at very slow speed, i.e., one word per minute. But Intel created a new device which allows him to create five words per minute. The rate of sentence composition could also increase to ten words per minute.

Hawking, from last 10 years has composed the sentences at a pace of one letter at a time while making use of the jerk of the cheek in order to stop the cursor as it runs on the on-screen keyboard. He therefore composes his sentences at a pace of one word at a time and the computer, which is attached to the wheelchair reads it aloud in the metallic voice.

However, in the recent past, Hawking, who is suffering from the motor neuron disease, finds it difficult to control the cursor using the jerk of his cheek, which significantly slows down the pace at which he can communicate with everyone.

Intel started working on the new device for Hawking in 2011 after he requested for the help from Gordon Moore, the Intel co-founder. The new device or system which was created by Intel makes use of the facial recognition technology in order to identify not just the cheek movements of Hawking, but also the jerks from the mouth as well as the eyebrows, which eventually sends his words to the new machine for speech.

Justin Rattner, Intel's chief technology officer described that a device with character-driven interface has been created, which is actually a better word forecaster.

The new technology of the device would enable Hawking to make use of two diverse signals in order to express his ideas, which in turn also means that he would be able to communicate while making use of the Morse code. This in turn is a great improvement.

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