Give Me a Minute – visual indication of message creation

Oppenheim, Matthew and McIntyre, Fil (2019) Give Me a Minute – visual indication of message creation. Communication Matters, 33 (3). pp. 35-36. ISSN 0969-9554

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For many high-tech AAC users, it is difficult to see when they are composing a message. Two examples are eye gaze users and switch users, where it may not be clear when they are actively preparing speech. We implemented a system that visually indicates when communication software is being used. This enables a more natural interaction and encourages good communication practice; giving adequate time for composition and respecting personal space. The visual feedback reassures others in the conversation that the AAC user is actively involved. The system continually monitors the AAC software to show when new messages are being entered, without the user having to manually trigger a "hang on" type message and interrupt their composition. The system consists of a BBC Micro:bit connected to the AAC device. The Micro:bit has an array of bright LEDs which are used to give a clear indication of when a message is being composed. The BBC Micro:bit is a small educational device, provided to schools for students to learn how to program. It was chosen as it is cheap, easily available and safe. The software has been created using a freely available platform and is available for download from GitHub.

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Journal Article
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Communication Matters
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23 Jun 2021 09:16
Last Modified:
11 Sep 2023 22:23