## 20110103

A friend has written up a nice post surveying communication prosthetics and information theory. Check it out.

I have been told that devices for the severely disabled, like eye-trackers, are too unreliable and break down too often to be practical, especially when caregivers aren't computer literate. Problems like this seem to be simple a matter of engineering. I imagine that this disabled population could benefit greatly from a usable open-source implementation of a variety of augmentative communication devices, since many individuals cannot afford expensive custom built computer systems.

Tech for the disabled is a fascinating topic. One thing that I've heard is that commercial devices are now reaching the point where they can replace special devices. For example, a dedicated text-to-speech device is on the order of $2000, while an iPad with consumer software is$400. Of course, insurance will pay for the dedicated box, and not the much more useful iPad.