Stephan Hawking is a world-famous cosmologist. He is also head of the research wing at Cambridge University and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. His book named “The brief history of time” was a best-seller in cosmology that contains all about Big Bang to Black hole. He did research about black holes, made a thesis and took classes about it. The black hole emits radiation which is known as hawking radiation.
In spite of his diseases called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Motor Neuron diseases that silently kill his nerve system and made him completely paralyzed, he did all the above mentioned research and teaching. In 1969 he suffered from pneumonia and got admitted in Hospital. He went through the critical stage where he lost his speaking ability.
Still at his age of 75, he continues his research in cosmology with same determination and passion.
So how he talks to us!!
Intel provided him a computer which is attached to his wheelchair. And they also create a user interface called ACAT (Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit). There is a window with many words and cursor which move automatically with the text, he can stop/control the cursor with his cheek muscles that is detected with an infrared sensor attached to his eye glasses. A text prediction algorithm in ACAT made by swift key named a start up company. This product works very easily with Hawking, as it got developed mainly about his research and his talks. With this wonderful technology, Hawking can check his everyday email with Firefox, can type in Microsoft.
He selects words, paragraphs in ACAT and send to a speech synthesizer, where we hear the sound of Hawking and his message. Intel replaces his computer and the software every 2 years.
Hawking is looking for a system which reads his mind and detects his neuron signals and create an output of his message.
The system which he uses at present is as below:
Lenovo Yoga 260
Intel® Core™ i7
ACAT interface software provided by Intel
Courtesy: wikypedia.com, blog.swiftkey.com, hawking.org.uk