With iTunes overrun with apps that do little more than find creative ways to promote products or otherwise suck time, it's nice to see mobile technology doing something that's, well, not so trivial. VerbalVictor, a $10 program, which should be available in the App Store next week, uses iPhone and iPad touch screens to allow people with disabilities to communicate with the outside world. Paul Pauca -- whose son suffers from Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes delays in cognitive development, motor skills, and verbal communication -- developed the app as an affordable alternative to non-verbal communication devices. It touts functionality similar to the device used by Steven Hawking, but is far more accessible than the professor's $8,200 setup. VerbalVictor allows parents and caregivers to take pictures and record accompanying audio; the entries are then turned into buttons, which the user presses when they want to communicate -- sort of like a very advanced and customizable See N' Say. The device can be used for simple expressions, like an image of a dog that speaks "dog" when pressed, or for recording commonly used phrases and complete sentences. It may never reach the popularity of, say iFart, but it's sure to win some dedicated users.
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