App of the Day: Every App Has A Story: Predictable

App of the Day: Every App Has A Story: Predictable

This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts’ Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts’ distinguished apps.

Therapy Box – Predictable

Several years ago, Rebecca Bright was looking for an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to help her grandmother, who had motor neurone disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Bright wanted a device that was affordable, easy to use and socially acceptable.

She wasn’t able to find a perfect solution. In 2010, Bright — who is a speech and language pathologist — envisioned a solution that did not yet exist. She chose to utilize the iOS platform and create her own AAC device. She developed the structure of an app called Predictable and worked with a team of skilled programmers and designers to code the app — which she knew would help many people with special needs, like her grandmother.

Predictable is a text-to-speech app that is switch accessible, so it can be used by people that have limited physical movement. It features word prediction: the app learns users’ frequent patterns of input and suggests words as users begin to type. This reduces the number of required keystrokes, which is especially beneficial to people using a switch. The app also corrects high frequency spelling errors.

Other features include:

  • Use the whole screen as a Switch during “scanning” mode (“Touch Anywhere” mode)
  • Input via handwriting
  • Update Facebook and Twitter
  • Compose and send e-mails
  • Backup your phrases to your computer
  • Adjust the pronunciation of the words to suit your needs/accent
  • Option of auditory feedback for all keys and buttons

Version 3.0 of Predictable will be released in early 2013. The new version allows greater customization. For example, visually impaired users can adjust the font size. The new version will also allow use of an external keyboard, and users can copy and paste from Predictable to other programs. (For example a student can copy and Paste to a word processing program in order to print a homework assignment written in Predictable.)

In December, the app will also be released on the Android platform, which is compatible with the HeadMouse.

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