In less than two weeks the Mozzaz team will find ourselves in Orlando, Florida – not soaking up the sunshine, but sharing TalkingTiles and the Mozzaz difference at the ATIA 2013 conference.
ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) holds an annual conference in Orlando to connect people who have disabilities and those who support, work with, and educate individuals with disabilities. The conference is an opportunity to share and network with others, and learn about the latest trends in assistive technology.
This is the first ATIA conference that Mozzaz will attend. We had great success (and fun!) at the OSLA and ASHA conferences last year that we are sure this one will be just as great.
Well team Mozzaz was at it again with another first time conference –CSUN’s 28th Annual Center on
Disabilities conference in San Diego.
This event was extra special for us as we announced TalkingTiles for Windows 8 devices and computers. The flexibility and power of the assistive technology features in Windows 8 coupled with the touch-friendly tablet devices make these machines very compelling for professionals and their clients for therapy and learning.
As part of our Windows 8 announcement, we were excited to give away a Windows Surface RT tablet to a lucky winner along with Microsoft’s Dan Hubbell, Manager of Assistive Technology for Microsoft.
|Linda and Microsoft’s Dan Hubbell proudly displaying the Windows Surface RT tablet we were giving way. Loved seeing TalkingTiles running on the big screen in Microsoft’s Windows 8 display in the background|
|And the moment we’ve been all waiting for… the draw!|
And our happy winner! Melissa Hughes from the San Diego Unified School District.
Congratulations from the entire Mozzaz team!
Thanks to all the great people we met! We look forward to working with you and seeing you again soon!
The Mozzaz team was in full force in Orlando for the ATIA 2013 conference. While Toronto was digging out of a snow dump, the team was busy meeting and greeting people at the conference in sunny Orlando! It was amazing to meet so many people with TalkingTiles already installed and sharing their great stories on how it’s helping their clients in AAC therapy. People loved the remote programming and collaborative aspects to TalkingTiles and are looking forward to our next version with customizable grids and type-to-speak features.
Here are some pics from the show:
We were lucky to be featured in the Microsoft booth with TalkingTiles running on the new Windows Surface RT tablets. The Surface tablets were definitely drawing a lot of attention and many were pleased by the power of these devices and their versatility.
We got a chance to show-off TalkingTiles working with our assistive device partners. Below Melissa was demonstrating TalkingTiles running on a large touch-screen TapIT monitor with TapIT CEO, Dr. Raymond. As well, we demonstrated TalkingTiles working with Jouse2 from Compusult, the joystick that is controlled by your mouth. Both great examples of how TalkingTiles can easily work with assistive devices right out-of-the-box.
And we had some lucky TalkingTiles winners at the conference; Evelyn Walker from Citrus County Schools won the 6 month subscription and Dr. Mary Ann Lowe from Nova Southeastern University who won a Windows Surface RT tablet. Congratulations winners!!
Hi-5’s and thumbs up at the TalkingTiles booth!
We would like to thank Daniel Hubbell, ATIA Board President, and the entire ATIA Events team for giving us an opportunity to be a sponsor and enjoy a great experience at the conference!
|If you’re at the HiMSS13 conference in New Orleans this week, make sure you drop by the Microsoft booth (booth #1127) as the Microsoft team are armed with the latest TalkingTiles version for Windows 8.|
Even though the Mozzaz team is not there in person, TalkingTiles is well represented - especially when shown on the massive 82” beautiful Perceptive Pixel multi-touch screen!
Below Gareth Hall, Healthcare Industry Solutions Manager for Microsoft, talking with a giant TalkingTiles!
Cheers – Team Mozzaz!
We weren’t just blown away by the wind in Chicago, we were blown away by all the great ideas for apps that SLPs shared with us at ASHA. The best part of their app ideas? The unique flexibility of TalkingTiles means that many of those ideas can actually be created within our app, making TalkingTiles perform like multiple apps all rolled into one. With the new version of TalkingTiles, creating interactive pages and tiles is now possible. Refer to the blog “Getting Creative with Interactive Tiles” to learn more.
Do you want to create an app for visual schedules? Done! An app that can sing the national anthem? Done! How about a bilingual app? Done!
This is why we call it the all-in-one app.
Creating visual schedules:
- List view or tile-by-tile view: list out your tasks in a list view by reducing the number of columns and increasing the number of rows. Alternatively, use the link-to feature to allow you to show a single tile, and upon completion of the task, you will be brought to the next tile when you click on it.
- Speech bar and audio – on or off: you have the option to utilize the speech bar and audio to hear each task announced, or you can disable the speech bar and audio functions.
- Text, image, or both: you can tailor every tile just the way you want it. Your tiles can appear with just text on them, just an image, or both.
Create a tile that links to the national anthem:
Just because someone can’t sing aloud on their own, doesn’t mean they can’t participate. Linking a tile to a website, such as YouTube is easy. After locating the appropriate YouTube video (or other site), copy the URL. When you are creating your Anthem tile, select “website” from the Tile Action dropdown selection. Paste in the URL and you are set! Once your tile is saved, when you click on your Anthem tile, the video clip will open and start playing.
Create a bilingual page:
Communication in two languages is not always the easiest task, particularly when you are relying on a device to do it for you. Luckily TalkingTiles offers over 150 voices and languages to pick from – and you can pick as many as you want! By customizing the Text-To-Speech option at the tile level, you can create a page that utilizes more than one language or voice. For example, you can create a single page that has 12 tiles in English, and 12 tiles in French. It’s as easy as that!
What ideas do you have for an assistive care app? Want to know if you can make it in TalkingTiles? Contact our team to find out!
A tile can do more than talk. It can be a gateway to an interactive experience within TalkingTiles. Users have the option to link their tiles to multiple actions: link to webpages, images, other TalkingTiles pages, and even to an app action.
Creating an interactive experience for users can help to better engage, better communicate, and even better socialize.
What can you do?
By linking tiles between pages, you can foster education and learning by creating matching games, spelling games, flash card games, and more. When a tile with the correct answer is tapped, you can have a reinforcing “Good Job!” image that pops up in response.
Link Bilingual Learning Pages:
Maybe you live in a bilingual home or community. Mastering one language can be tough enough, but imagine two! You can making mirroring pages in different languages and link them together. For example, a conversation starter page in English with a tile that will link you through to a conversation starter page in French. You can even have 2 tiles on the same page in different languages.
Social Activity Page:
What are your favourite activities? Going to the movies, eating out, play groups, going to the park, ice skating? Whatever you like to do, you can create a page where each tile represents an activity. If you are going to create a tile for the movies, why not link it to the local theatre listings? Eating out? Link the tile to another page that has a list of restaurants on it, and each restaurant tile links to the restaurant menu webpage. Play groups? Link out to a calendar of events to the local community centre or development centre. The park? Why not link it to a website of the weather report?
A little sense of humour goes a long way! Why not create a page to make people laugh? Have a joke you want to tell? Use two tiles to record someone telling the joke – the first tile can deliver the joke, while the second tile delivers the punch line. Link tiles through to humourous YouTube clips or to joke websites. Found a funny image? Link your tile to the saved image on your device so when you click the tile the image appears larger.
Tell us about the ways you are making TalkingTiles interactive!
Can one simple customization totally change the way you use TalkingTiles? It sure can! TalkingTiles’ ability to customize the menu bar makes it easier and more functional for different purposes. We’ve created two types of menu bars: one with a speech bar that can replay the tiles you’ve selected, which is a good feature for communication or AAC apps; and one that does not have the speech bar feature, which can be used in non-AAC type of pages such as visual schedules, learning games, picture/word charts etc. Just like a page, you can add rows and columns, colour schemes, and change the layout of your menu.
Each button within the menu bar is just like a tile on a page – and you edit it the same way! You can adjust the tile size, layout, color, font and action of the button. To start making edits to your menu bar, click on your ‘Select Page’ button while in the edit mode. You’ll see two pages for your menu – Speech On and Speech Off. When you click on either of these you’ll see your menu bar as a page. Begin editing just as you would edit a page.
The flexibility in creating custom pages and menus expands the way TalkingTiles can be used in various assistive care settings. Here are few examples:
|Communication board without Speech Bar|
This page has been created as a food selection page. The typical menu bar has been customized to lead the user to other food selection items. The menu bar can be placed at the top of your page; or the bottom, as shown here.
|Hospital Pain Chart|
Charts such as this can be created for users to provide information to their doctors or care givers. The menu bar has buttons that provide detail on the pain level. Menu buttons can be linked to other pages that can lead into more information giving.
Create a variety of learning games, from math to spelling, from matching to memory games, you can create and customize how you want. Use the menu bar to create links to other games, to lead the user to progressively harder games, or to let them repeat the current page.
TalkingTiles offers over 150 different voices and languages. Combined with it’s ability to recognize special characters, users can create pages in different languages. You can use it as a tool to learn another language; as shown in the image here, or you can create pages with menu bars that are all in one language.
|Using TalkingTiles on your phone? Menu customization can help make navigation and user experience that much better!|
Reduce the tiles in your menu bar to see more of the tiles on your page, or even maximize your menu buttons and feature a single tile. You can shift and change to whatever you need!
How have you been customizing your menu bar?
When a verbal child speaks, we hear the sweet youthful sound of their voice. When a child relies on an AAC tool for communication to do the talking for them, often the voice we hear is that of an adult – a voice they may not identify with. TalkingTiles wanted to give children the opportunity to tell their stories in voices that are age appropriate.
TalkingTiles’ recent addition of Acapela to our speech engine library means that children can now select voices that are better suited to them.
Children’s voices include:
Communicating in a voice that resonates with both themselves and their peers will help to create inclusive learning environments for children who use assistive technologies like TalkingTiles, and will add to the development of communication and social skills. Gone are the days of computerized synthetic voices, thanks to Acapela’s natural sounding voices.
As stated on Acapela’s website, these voices are made by children for children. Acapela is the first in their industry to be able to provide kids with a voice that resembles their own. Users with specific needs have driven the innovation to change the lives of youngsters who require AAC.
The diverse options of Text-to-Speech engines shows the adaptability of TalkingTiles as one that is appropriate for both children and adults. All in all, there are over 150 voices and languages for users to pick from.
To select a child’s voice as your default TTS option, enter the Device Settings function when you are in the edit mode, followed by TTS Settings. From the dropdown list of TTS engines, select Acapela. From the languages option select either English – American, or English – UK. Under voices you can then choose the male or female options.
Remember! When you change your TTS settings, the changes are applied to tiles and pages made going forward, they will not be applied to tiles and pages you’ve already created.
Just for the fun of it, kids can even pick the Queen of England’s voice!