Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Subtle Subtitles Scarf...

Blending technology with clothing generate amazing innovative ideas like the one we're going to introduce today: the Subtle Subtitles Scarf designed by Calum Pringle, Interactive Media Design student at Dundee University. Calum’s motivation for the Subtitles Scarf which is currently in the ‘experience prototype’ phase is to provide the occasional subtitle, in real time, for people are effected by Dysarthria, a motor speech disorder resulting from neurological injury and is characterized by poor articulation. This explains the Subtitles part of the scarf. People who have difficulties to speak clearly enough for others to understand each word could wear this scarf which supports the communication by adding ‘Subtle’ subtitles. How does this work? In the current prototype a microphone inside the scarf is connected to a laptop which sends the voice input goes to a website.Actually the microphone is constantly monitored via this website. Javascripts written by Claum filters the dialogue and strips out words that he has learned do not need to be subtitled in a conversation (”the” “a” “he” “she” “this” “that” “these” “those” etc, and he keeps adding to the list). The iPod Touch/iPhone application connects to another website where the filtered dialogue is sent and styled and then displayed on the iPod Touch/iPhone screen as real life subtitle. This subtitle supports the common sense we employ when speaking to one another and allows the individual to continue using their own voice instead of relying on a machine that takes text and provides a synthesized voice. Using subtitles in the scarf does not mean every word is subtitled, you only ever glance at the scarf – for the most part you maintain eye contact with the wearer and therefore keep the conversation personal – an aspect that is often lost when using other communication aids. Blending devices like the iPod or iPhone into clothing accessories like the scarf, technically and visually via the wallpaper screen, offers a more, subtle, fashionable and attractive form to wear this communication aid compared to hanging the same devices via a lanyard around the neck. Wearable technology with an interesting twist.

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