TouchChat HD for iPad® / iPod® / iPhone® ($149.99 USD + tax) is a full-featured communication solution for individuals who have difficulty using their natural voice. TouchChat is designed for individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, ALS, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions that affect a person’s ability to use natural speech.
TouchChat provides both English and Spanish options in one app and provides a universal app supporting iPhone®, iPod®, and iPad®.
TouchChat fits into the category of assistive technology known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and includes features that were previously only available in much more expensive dedicated devices. Words, phrases and messages are spoken with a built-in voice synthesizer or by playing recorded message. Various English and Spanish synthesized voices are available, allowing the user to choose a voice that fits their own personality. TouchChat also has a unique feature whereby one can simply tilt the device to make the message expand to fill the screen in large letters. This feature allows a person to communicate silently or in a noisy environment. TouchChat gives an individual the ability to navigate through page sets and speak messages. Page sets are linked pages, each of which is divided into a number of buttons. The buttons are programmed to have specific actions. For example, buttons may be programmed to speak a message, navigate to a different page, change the volume or clear the display. Various page sets are included with the TouchChat:
Each page set targets individuals with different communication needs. Additional page sets, including WordPower™, Gateway©, and Pixon™ are available as in-app purchases.
Text generated with TouchChat pages can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or iMessage® and email. It’s simple too, just generate a message, push on the text window and choose a service.
Text from other applications can be copied to TouchChat so that it can be spoken out loud. Also, text generated in TouchChat can be copied to other applications.
The pages, grid layout, buttons, messages, and symbols are fully customizable. Buttons can be easily rearranged by simply dragging them to the desired new location. Buttons can be copied and pasted into a different location. The styling of a button (colors, borders, fonts) can be copied and pasted into another button.
Provided page sets can be modified to create new custom page sets. Select from over 30 button actions when creating new buttons. Over 10,000 Symbolstix© symbols are included for customizing buttons. Use any image or take a photo with the built-in camera. Gestures can also be used to navigate to new pages, speak messages, etc.
Button activation timing can be adjusted to meet the needs and capabilities of the user. Adjustments include button dwell time and button release time. Also buttons can be configured to activate on release.
Users can program buttons to play audio files such as music from the media library or video files from the Photo Roll.
Great measures have been taken to protect custom files. Vocabulary files can be imported and exported to a computer using the iTunes® file sharing feature. TouchChat also enables users to subscribe to iShare and store custom files for safe keeping, or choose to share customized pages with an online community.