Created by a caring father and his students at Wake Forest University, VerbalVictor is an interactive communication tool for people who are unable to speak. The application was developed by Paul Pauca for his five-year old son, Victor, who has difficulty talking due to a rare genetic disorder that delayed his speech development. Mr. Pauca tried several specialized speech devices to help his young son, but they were either too low tech or too expensive to be practical. Knowing that his Wake Forest students could do better with current consumer technology, Paul recruited his students to design this iOS application as part of a class project.
VerbalVictor presents the user with a series of images and associates these images with pre-recorded phrases. An individual only has to touch the appropriate image to communicate with those around him. For example, tapping on an image of a kitchen could playback the phrase "I am hungry." Rather than a series of generic images and robotic voices, the application can be personalized for each individual user. Pictures of familiar environments can be imported into the app using the on-device camera, and a relative or friend can record his or her voice to accompany each image. The application will sell for US$10 on the App Store and will be available sometime next week for iPhone and iPad owners.