Tuesday March 26, 2019
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Talk Different: Autistic child’s mother develops world’s first ‘universal language’ app

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The world’s first smartphone application which allows people speaking different languages and those incapable of speaking to communicate together, has been created by a French mother of an autistic child.

The app was made available for purchase and downloading on Google Play and Apple Store in nine international languages by Sogeti, an affiliate of French computing giant Capgemini.

Developed by Marie Spitz, the Talk Different app uses 700 images, colours, icons and sounds to create messages based on alternative communication techniques she practised to interact with her daughter Pauline, who suffers from speech depriving autism.

Speaking on the advantages her invention offers, Spitz said, “The key to Talk Different, is the ease and accessibility that allows lost travellers, the vocal-or hearing-impaired or other verbally isolated users to construct messages on smartphones or pads that virtually anyone else will understand.

I have worked for over three years on this project with the goal that Talk Different would be accessible to all, for less than a euro on smartphones, while being very easy to use. The application requires no special training”, she said.

What sets the 99 cent app apart from other language apps is its picture-book simplicity, an intentional contrast to the more complex and confounding tools she used while communicating with her daughter.

Patrick Marquet, project manager at Sogeti said, “Talk Different makes everyday communication easier via an intuitive and fun application. With her exceptional vision and drive, Marie Spitz has invented a new way of communicating for people who may not speak the same language or who suffer from a range of disabilities.”

Spitz founded her MPSLS software company to develop and perfect an application using her insights for medical, educational and tourism communication use after working around her daughter’s speech disability for over a decade.

The users can select drawings and photos of various figures, situations, emotions or ideas, and combine them with colour, sound, text and other evocative content to construct easily identifiable messages or questions.

Spitz is already on the way to develop a different version of the app for health workers and the handicapped.

Next Story

Micro-blogging Site Twitter to Audit Developers Using Data From App

Twitter says it suspended 1,62,000 apps in the second half of 2018, showing it is willing to play hardball with developers that endanger its ecosystem

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Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Micro-blogging site Twitter has decided to audit app developers who use data from its platform, as business and research boosting tools to make sure it gets paid for the information delivered.

Starting June 19, developers that use recent tweets from or mention a user more than 100,000 times per day, will have to submit their apps to Twitter for review.

“The goal is ensuring that our platform is safe and promoting the privacy and safety of our users, and providing a level playing field commercially,” TechCrunch quoted Yoel Roth, Head of site integrity, Twitter as saying on Tuesday.

Developers found to be violating Twitter’s policies would be booted from the platform, while those who fail to file for review will be capped at 100,000 requests per day for the user timeline and mentions application programming interfaces (APIs) of Twitter.

“We’re fundamentally different than other platforms that have APIs since almost everything that happens on our service is public,” Roth explained.

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FILE – A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Developers who use Twitter data as business tools for customer services or social media monitoring, will have to pay and enter a commercial licencing agreement with the platform with an undisclosed custom price-range based on usage.

“Twitter refused to even specify the range those prices fall into, which won’t win it any extra trust,” the report said.

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If a developer in question presents legitimate consumer-use cases, like running a third-party Twitter client or doing research, it will be granted free access to the API at the same rate they have today.

Twitter says it suspended 1,62,000 apps in the second half of 2018, showing it is willing to play hardball with developers that endanger its ecosystem, the report added. (IANS)