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UW’s Vocal Joystick in Seattle Times

Read the article in the Seattle Times here.

“Say ‘ahh’ and the cursor zips toward the northeast corner of the computer screen. ‘Ooo’ sends it shooting straight south. Want it to head southeast? Say ‘ohh.’ To make the cursor do a circle or figure eight, let vowel sounds bleed into one another, like eee into ahh into aww and so on. You can make it hurry or slow by regulating the volume of your voice. To open a link, make a soft clicking sound.

“So goes the University of Washington’s ‘Vocal Joystick’ software, which uses sounds to help people with disabilities use their computers.

“Its development has been a multidisciplinary task with faculty and students from several university departments – electrical engineering, linguistics, computer science, as well as the Information School blending their expertise. (It is just one of a series of UW-generated assistive-technology projects ranging from enabling the blind to use touch screens to developing an alternative to the point-and-click method of computer navigation).”