Intel has today unveiled a new open-source communication system created especially for Professor Stephen Hawking, which can be adapted for the three million people worldwide who suffer from quadriplegia and motor neurone disease.
The communication system has been open sourced by Intel and the system is known as ACAT (Assistive Context Aware Toolkit). ACAT is a result of years of collaboration between Intel and Hawking. Intel believes that the system is highly likely to become the spinal cord of a modern, customisable system, which can now be used for all those who suffer from quadriplegia and motor neurone related disabilities. Hawking said at the press conference that this open source system will help millions of disabled people across the globe. He added further that his old system was 20-years-old now and communicative functions were not very effective anymore.
Now the new system has been a life-changing experience for him and he believes it will serve him for next 20 years too. While speaking, Hawking’s words were relayed by the robotic voice of his computer. At the age of 21 Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neurone disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The communication system will be available online as open source.
"By making this technology freely available, it has the potential to greatly improve the life of disabled people all over the world," said Hawking, his words relayed by the robotic voice of his computer".