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Vocal Joystick Needs No Hands

Vocal JoystickThe University of Washington has designed Vocal Joystick software to assist those with disabilities. “Ahh” means go northwest, “ooo” makes it go south, and “ohh” makes the cursor go southeast. Vowel sounds make circles, while the voice volume controls the speed. A simple clicking noise opens a link. The researchers have already tested their joystick at the UW Medical Center and are about to begin the next round. The system only needs a mic, a PC with sound card and a voice to operate.

Read More | Physorg


Contact Lens is Almost Bionic

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Science, Videos,

Quick, somebody call Steve Austin. The University of Washington has created a bionic eye, well almost. The contact lens can zoom in on images and facts are created in a field of view. It then sends the information so that recipients can see some form of light. While they are mostly intended to help those who are visually impaired, future applications include “holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.” The results of UW’s research was shown at the recent Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ international conference.


Read More | Trendhunter

PanImages Search Handles Hundreds of Languages

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Google, Internet,


The University of Washington and its Professor Oren Etzoni released PanImages at the recent Machine Translation Summit in Copenhagen. Instead of searching for photos by text that may not be recognizable, the system recognizes a string of letters in about 300 different languages and looks for them in Google and Flickr. In a recent test of the process, PanImages found 57 times more results than on an average search.         

The procedure works by scanning machine readable wiktionaries. As an example, Etzioni said that if you type in the Zulu word for refrigerator (“ifriji’) you would get almost 500,000 results as opposed to 2 on available search engines. While we seem to be over-saturated with images by using English, it is a comfort to know that the Zulus will be able to find appliances with less of an effort now.


Read More | Tech News Watch