2003 Conference Proceedings

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Memovoice - Talking Braille Notetaker

Presenters:
Marvin Sandler and Prudencio Alvarez
Independent Living Aids, Inc.
200 Robbins Lane
Jericho, New York 11753
Phone: 800/ 537-2118
Email: indlivaids@aol.com

The Memovoice is an exceptionally useful and affordable talking Braille notetaker that has been affectionately described as a Braille Palm Pilot. It is very small and light, measuring 7" x 2-1/2" x 1" and weighing only 8 oz. It has a suggested retail price of $695.00. The keyboard is configured in the standard Perkins layout of 6 keys plus a function/space bar. Audio output is through a built-in speaker, and a headphone jack provides a privacy option. It has an on-board clock with alarm, calendar, calculator, appointment book and basic notepad. Both a USB and Infrared port are included for data interchange with computers and other electronic equipment.

The Memovoice is an exceptionally useful and affordable talking Braille notetaker that has been affectionately described as a Braille Palm Pilot. It can be conveniently carried in a man's shirt pocket because of its small size (7" wide x 2-1/2" deep x 1" high) and weight (8 oz. including two "AA" batteries). Small in price as well as size, it has a suggested retail price of $695.00. The keyboard is configured in the standard Perkins layout of 6 keys plus a function/space bar. The Memovoice has a sound interface with a high quality voice synthesizer and audio output is through a built-in speaker. A headphone jack provides a privacy option and volume control is regulated by the unit's software. It has an on-board clock with alarm function, calendar, calculator, appointment book and basic notepad. Communication with a computer or other electronic equipment is accomplished through a USB or Infrared port, at the user's option, for data interchange and storage.

Hardware: The Memovoice is powered by a 10MHz Mitsubishi M16C62 micro-controller, incorporating 128Kb of RAM memory with battery back-up, 2Mb of internal FLASH program memory and 512 Kb of external FLASH data memory. It uses an OKI voice synthesizer and has both an internal speaker plus a headphone jack for privacy. The clock and calendar operate in real time with battery back-up to provide power even when the unit is turned off. Data transfer is accomplished through a USB communication port and also through a modulation infrared port, each of which has a transfer speed capacity of up to 115,200 bps.

Software Architecture: The software has been developed using Compiler C language of IAR Systems for the Mitsubishi M16C (V1.11B) microcontroller.

Applications: Memovoice models currently in production incorporate a Clock/Calendar, Alarm Clock, Calculator, Address Book, Personal Organizer and Appointment Book and Basic Notepad. A "Help" menu is incorporated into each application to explain the various options available for that specific function. Because of its open architecture, upgrades to "standard" applications can be easily installed, and custom applications can be added.


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