Txtlocal Gives a Voice to the Disabled

Mobile marketing and communications company Txtlocal is working with Time Is Ltd. (TIL) on its JayBee product to help individuals with a wide variety of illnesses and varying degrees of disability communicate both audibly and instantly.

JayBee allows those who do not have the power of speech to communicate fully, fluently and quickly. Developed by satellite control systems company Time Is Ltd, and text-to-speech solutions provider CereProc, JayBee uses various triggers, such as hand, head, and eye movements or touch screen input, to transform predictive text phrases into British voices that add character to the audible communication.

Designed initially for people with motor neurone disease, JayBee allows users to say exactly what they want to say. It learns their communication patterns using technology initially used by TIL in the space industry.

Simon Greenway of simonface.org has been testing the product on behalf of people with motor neurone disease. "The seamless integration of Txtlocal mobile media services into JayBee has produced a most powerful product which will be of immense help to those who lose the ability to speak," he said. "It only takes a few keystrokes or face gestures by the user to send instant messages to care-givers, family, and friends. JayBee with SMS really empowers those with the disease to achieve a higher quality of life through communication."

Ian Schofield, managing director of Time Is Ltd., wanted to extend the system to allow the homebound to communicate with the outside world. He selected Txtlocal from many competitors, and in a matter of weeks the Txtlocal platform became a vital extension to the JayBee system, allowing users not only to send text messages instantly to mobile phones, but to receive the responses back into JayBee.

It works by allowing any of the phrases the user would normally speak, or so called instant phrases, such as "Come quickly, I need help nowm" to be sent through Txtlocal's SMS Gateway. The response from the recipient is retrieved from the same gateway and displayed in JayBee.

"Our partnership with Txtlocal is truly revolutionary for JayBee users," Schofield said. "It means that for the first time, people can now call for help, text for an ambulance, or simply have a general chat with a friend. It's amazing that those unable to speak through conventional methods can now send a text simply by moving a part of their body."

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