AUSTRALIAN INDEPENDENCE PRODUCTS
Speech-based Products

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"TT-1" Talking Typing Tutor.

Software for I.B.M. P.C.s with a Windows 95-XP speech output device.
Teaches all the keys on a 101-key keyboard.
Gives both location instruction and drill practice.
Operates under Windows 95 to XP.
This product (with a reduced set of keys) has been developed as part of CATS but will also be offered stand-alone.

Recommended retail price: 200 Australian dollars, no GST.

Please look at the "What's New" Page for the status of this product.



"TI-1" Talking Interface.

A universal electronics interface with speech adaptor attached.
Works with LCD and LED displays and revolution-counting switches such as found on exercise equipment.

MULTI-LINGUAL! Any pair of languages available to order.

LOUD! Loud, clear digitised voice, male or female. High-capacity batteries allow for good volume, making these ideal units for the hard-of-hearing.

UNAMBIGUOUS! Also for people with hearing loss, speech can be programmed to order to say, for example, "November" instead of "nine", to avoid confusion.

Rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries.

Warranty 2 years, return to dealer.

C-tick approved.

Appliances interfaced to date include:

Talking Interface with Exercise BicycleTo see a larger photograph of the TI-1
attached to an exercise bike, follow
this link. Talking Interface with MediSense QID Blood Glucose Meter

To see a larger photograph of the TI-1
attached to a MediSense QID Blood Glucose Meter,
follow this link.

Talking Interface with Roche Advantage Blood Glucose Meter

To see a larger photograph of the TI-1
attached to a "Roche "Advantage" Blood
Glucose Meter, follow this link.

Talking Interface with NEC XEN Handset

To see larger photographs of the TI-1
attached to an "NEC XEN PABX, follow this link.

Under research: EFTPOS Terminal

Talking Interface with MediSense TrueSense Blood Glucose Meter

To see a larger photograph of the TI-1
attached to a MediSense "TrueSense" Blood
Glucose Meter, follow this link.

Price: from 700 Australian dollars, no GST. Contact for a quotation for adapting your chosen equipment. Victorian residents aged under 65 may receive 100 percent funding under the RDSI scheme - contact an Occupational Therapist at your local low vision agency for details.



"DR-1" Display Reader.

Another way to get access to LCD and LED displays.

Consists of a camera which acquires an image of the display. The numbers on the image are then recognised using a microprocessor, and spoken.

The four appliances accessed to date are: a Roche "Advantage Complete" blood glucose meter, a Kelvinator Split reverse-cycle Airconditioner Remote Control, a MediSense "SofTact" blood glucose meter and a Baxter "Home Choice Pro" peritoneal dialysis machine.

As our experience with this product increases we hope to make it more "universal". Display Reader with MediSense SofTact Blood Glucose Meter

The first photo shows a SofTact meter, which has a unique design to obtain blood samples from sites other than the fingertips, inserted into the reader. Controls are simple: a volume control and a 'speak' button.

To see a larger photograph of the Display Reader, follow this link.

Display Reader with Baxter Home Choice Peritoneal Dialysis Machine

The second photo shows how the Display Reader fits over the fluorescent display on a Baxter PD machine, to acquire and speak the prompts, alarms and statistics displayed.

To see larger photographs of the PD Reader, follow this link.

Price: from 1750 Australian dollars, no GST. Contact for a quotation for adapting your chosen equipment. Victorian residents aged under 65 may receive 100 percent funding under the RDSI scheme - contact an Occupational Therapist at your local low vision agency for details.



"CATS" (Complete Affordable Talking System).

Software to operate on any IBM-compatible PC, (a Pentium 5, 2 gigahertz, 512 megabytes of RAM is all that's required - or 1 gigabyte of RAM if you want to run a scanner as well.) Combines a: CATS with optional Scanner

  • typing tutor
  • spelling tutor
  • word processor
  • database (which can be barcode-driven)
  • address book
  • telephone dialler
  • diary
  • e-mail
  • internet browser, and
  • optional flatbed scanner.

Very easy to understand pair of Australian voices, male and female.
Text enlargement in a range of sizes and colours.
Exceptionally easy to use, with a consistent command set, presented in simple language.
Key combinations such as alt-F are not required.
Set of CDs to help you learn.

Recommended retail price: 800 Australian dollars, no GST. Demonstration version available for 50 dollars, no GST.

You supply the PC - or ask our representative to source one for you!
The absolutely most painless way to get into using a talking computer!



"Serenade" Scanner.

Based on a Canon LIDE-110 scanner, this accepts source material up to A4 size, upside down, at right angles ("two pages to view"), skewed by up to 10 degrees, multiple columns including newsprint.
Picture of Serenade

Multiple pages can be scanned at one time. Scanned results may (only if required) be saved on the system by name, and retrieved and extended at a later time. All scans are automatically saved in a 100-deep "recall list" which may be browsed without needing to give the scans names.

Time to scan, recognize and present a document on the screen is: 60 seconds (first page), 25 seconds (each subsequent page).

Results may be read using speech and large text, with controllable speed, size and colour.

Four levels of expertise.

  • Beginner level. Only a "GO" and a "STOP" button are required, plus knobs for speed and volume.
  • Primary level. Requires learning the down-arrow key to access. Adds more choices to scans. Follow the "more info" link below.
  • Intermediate level. The right-hand keypad allows the user to navigate by letter, word and sentence. Scanned files may be saved by using a left-hand keypad to name them. This keypad is laid out as a mobile telephone "texting" pad. Documents may be saved into different folders, e.g. cookery, romance, adventure.
  • Advanced level. Allows the user to add, delete and rename folders and to archive documents to a memory stick.

For more information on the Serenade Scanner, follow this link.

A simpler version without the extra reading keys and texting pad, is available.

Recommended retail price: 1950 Australian dollars. No GST. Simpler version 1900 dollars.



"Music Marvellous" Music Tutor.

This is designed to teach people to play a keyboard in their own home, at their own rate.

It involves a Yamaha E313 5-octave instrument which is available from any good music retailer, for $ 300, plus our talking box which attaches to the Yamaha, costing a further $ 370. We program the box to sense key values, velocities and timings and give you instant feedback on accuracy and technique, while teaching you 20 tunes.
Picture of Music Marvellous system

The list of tunes for this first course is: Ode to Joy, Aura Lee, Good King Wenceslas, Jingle Bells, Brother John, Going Home, Mary Ann, What Can I Share?, When the Saints go Marching In, Love Somebody, The Can-Can, Happy Birthday, Blow the Man Down, Little Brown Jug, O Sole Mio, Jericho, Greensleeves, Scarborough Fair, The Entertainer, and Amazing Grace.

The second course is being prepared. Its list is: Beautiful Brown Eyes, Alpine Melody, Alouette, Joy to the World, Cockles and Mussels, On Top of Old Smokey and (transposed to suit the Yamaha) London Bridge, Campdown Races, When Irish Eyes are Smiling, Turkey in the Straw, Londonderry Air, Pop Goes the Weasel, The Last Rose of Summer, Swan Lake Finale, Yankee Doodle, Aida Grand March, Pizzicate Polka, Serenade for Strings, Radetsky March and Beethoven's Fur Elise. Cost 200 Australian dollars. Courses are supplied on digital memory cards and can be easily swapped in and out of our box.

The courses teach theory and scales as well as tunes, making it much more than just a "learn-by-rote" toy.

In the future, we plan to offer a reprogrammed version of the talking box that will turn the instrument into a 16-channel sequencer, allowing budding composers to write their own music.

We also plan to release a package that will let you scan any piece of music and have it read to you as notes, so that you can learn it independently.

To see a larger photograph of the Music Marvellous system, follow this link.

Recommended retail price: 670 Australian dollars including Yamaha keyboard.



"EX-1" External Synthesiser.

Thumbnail Picture of EX-1

A battery- or mains-operated synthesiser compatible with the DoubleTalk LT (TMReg).

Serial (RS-232) input. Automatic baud rate detection.

Beefy 65mm diameter mylar cone speaker gives good bass response.

Supplied with 9-pin RS232 extender lead and fitted 9 volt alkaline battery.

Price: 700 Australian dollars, no GST.


Thumbnail Picture of Korda: sorry, no pix available yet


"Korda" Chording Keyboard with Speech.

This is a 6-key keyboard designed to generate all the required special codes to operate Windows, plus a "CAPSLOCK+" function for people using NVDA as a screen reader.

It can be held easily between the hands, and the spring pressure of the buttons is factory-customisable, for example to suit diabetics with reduced sensation in their fingertips.

The chording scheme is an open-source model called GKOS, much simpler to learn than braille.

Being a chording unit, complex keystrokes need to be built up from 2 or more chords. Korda speaks each modifier chord (such as Function, Control, Alt) as it is keyed, so the user can keep track of what they are trying to key.

Price: 1500 Australian dollars, no GST.



"MACK" Multiple-Alarm Clock.

Thumbnail Picture of MACK

The MACK is not only a clock with gigantic 6-inch high numerals in a choice of 3 colours (red, orange, green), but also offers 15 alarms,

Each alarm may be programmed as: daily, weekly, weekday, weekend or once-only.\

Each alarm also accepts a voice recording of up to 15 seconds' duration.

So a carer or other support person can program 15 messages into MACK, as reminders for vision-impaired people with mild dementia or memory loss.

MACK incorporates a photo-sensor and automatically dims in lower-light conditions.

It also has a 100-percent effective muting function, so that it generates no buzzes or hisses to disturb sleep, in situations where it's in a bedroom.

Either tabletop or wall mounting.

Price: 400 Australian dollars, no GST.



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