New iPad App for Augmentative and Alternative Communication

in Education (E)

[] San Francisco, California - TBox Apps, a leader in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies, today announced the availability of Scene & Heard 1.1 for iPad, a highly customizable Visual Scene Display communication aid available on the iOS platform. Together, Scene & Heard and the iPad deliver the most powerful visual scene display communication aid by transforming personalized photos, video, audio, and included symbols into customized interactive Communication Scenes. Scene & Heard is an Education app available in the iTunes App Store, for $49.00 (USD)

Expanding on existing approaches such as symbol and grid based communication; Scene & Heard was developed and designed specifically for the iPad's most advanced mobile operating system. The iPad provides an engaging, fun, and affordable, alternative to existing communication devices. Embraced and endorsed by the AAC community worldwide, the iPad, is a essential tool advancing augmented communication possibilities and is rapidly becoming the device of choice assisting anyone with communication needs.

Current iOS based AAC options have not reached the potential that Context based communication is capable of achieving, by providing generic, static, and limited personalization capabilities. In addition, existing Visual Scene Display apps have not used all that the iPad offers, until now. Scene & Heard is the first AAC application that fully utilizes all that the iPad offers, and is the most feature-rich, AAC app on available on the iOS platform.

"The user uptake of the iPad as a communication device, is growing at an exponential rate, and we wanted to provide a solution that truly integrates the possibilities available from the device," said Swapnil Gadgil, director, TBoxApps. "The iPad is intuitive, easy for people with complex communication needs to learn and to use, and provides a powerful platform for contextual based communication. We developed Scene & Heard to enable communication partners to be active and supportive participants in the communication process."

With highly customizable photos, and videos, taken on the device or collected, uploaded and saved in an easy to access collection, it can be integrated directly in the media with text tags, or hot spots combined with a pre-loaded symbol library and recorded audio. Scenes and communication becomes not only easy, but is also highly personalized and customized to each user. Add new words and videos, and create your own scenes for totally personalized communication.

Enables children and adults with communication needs with an elegant yet easy and effective tool using more than just a simple, symbol-based grid. Scene & Heard takes using a Visual Scene Display, a communication approach which uses context to aid with learning and communicating. Incorporating own photos, image, videos, text and audio as the bases for building a Scene. On the iPad these scenes transform from traditional static, communication pieces, and with engaging ease these communication scenes become interactive and therefore a more powerful, communication tool.

"Scene & Heard encourages independent social interaction with the user having increased participation of what and how they communicate," said Rebecca Bright, speech and language therapist, TBoxApps. "Our aim is to provide a communication aid that utilizes all the wonderful potential the iPad offers, to deliver a communication aid that sets the standard in assistive communication technology."

Scene & Heard unlocks the magical selection of iPad services delivering real-time communication scenes from photos, video, and recorded audio taken on the device, or uploaded. Communication is highly personal, a fact that is often overlooked when providing solutions for people with communication needs. The existing grid based scenes commonly used are made up of from a library of generic icons, symbols, and added text, while useful as a starting place, are also generic Scene & Heard includes these symbols to support their scenes, which users can add to their unique communication scenes.

Users, caregivers, teachers, parents, educators, and anyone can create personalized scenes with photos, text, audio, video, preloaded symbol library, tagged with own content and saved in easy to access collections. Scenes can be used for more than communication and can be used to organize the individual throughout the day. The iPad's slim elegance and affordability factor promotes mobility, and positive attention not the stigma that may be associated with existing clunky devices.

The iPad display size gives users the freedom to simply tap, drag, drop, and swipe to navigate, build, and customize personalized scenes to communicate in a way that is meaningful and personal. Scene & Heard builds upon and includes the common picture and text based communication aids by including in the application a pre-loaded symbol library of over 12k choices from industry favorite, Widgit Software Scene & Heard, and the iPad's incredibly easy to use, familiar and intuitive interface work in tandem to provide a tap anywhere atmosphere.

Tapping this app gives special-needs users a voice and so much more. The app picks up where others left off, with common grid based scene building and so much more. Scene & Heard is the next generation in AAC communication tools. With blazing fast performance and stunning graphics and it now includes delivers communication possibilities in a highly personalized and customizable way.

Scene & Heard sets a new standard in design ease of use and implementation of the iPad's capabilities. Using the iPad touchscreen, the user communicates by building customized, and personal visual scene displays used as the foundation of interactive communication. Users of any age or ability can communicate through its intuitive navigation system and customizable interface. Far simpler and easier to use than other augmented communication devices, Scene & Heard offers interactive, personal, communication with features such as:

Features List:
* Creating Scenes is a Tap! Forming highly customizable Communication Scenes is as easy as a tap. It's never been easier or more engaging to create powerful Communication Scenes, which can be saved as collections on the iPad, uploaded and saved and backed up in iTunes or folder online or computer, email saved scenes to other Scene & Heard users. Also, an interactive community Scene Sharing with other users through SceneExchange, an online social community launching with Scene & Heard.
* Ready to Roll: Scene & Heard comes with 14 ready-made scenes, enabling a turn on and go, solution.
* The iPad's camera gives the user a powerful, easy and fun scene-building tool. Just tap to snap and upload pictures to supplement and create communication scenes, with images that mean the most. Tag directly in the photo or symbol with text, to build ultimate scenes. Using own photos either in real-time, from a personal collection or uploaded from online, adds level of personalization to the Scenes so content will always be personal and relevant.
* Blazing fast mobile browsing on the device let's users download video and photos directly to incorporate into the Scene & Heard application library.
* The iPad's easy to use Voice Recorder can record audio file or for instance directions on how to use a stove or other appliance could be added
* Increase independence of the user, recorded audio messages can be uploaded and integrated in photos, symbols, and videos, to for instance deliver instructions, directions, or even set on a timer to play as a recurring or one time message. Or Attach a timestamp to photo, video or scene for reminders to automatically play or display

Make it yours:
* Customize Scenes for Powerful Visual Scene Display
* Rearrange and list elements in order of priority
* Reorder text tags
* Drag and drop to reorder images
* Customization of default image setting you can choose which scenes start up
* Pre order default view
* Option of Flipbook style swiping
* Create and save collections of scenes and chose the location for instant access
* Quick search for symbols by text only
* Choose the layout of the scene library from flipbook or grid options

Leading the way in the future of AAC app possibilities by giving users the exact tools they need in real time at the exact moment they need it. Scene & Heard can also set Reminders to automatically pop up and reoccur for customized message delivery such as medication alerts, directions, or even everyday tasks.

Communication in real time:
With Scene & Heard, teachers, caregivers, doctors, friends, anyone for instance can deliver video messages, and enables users with everything they need to communicate effectively and efficiently. The iPad's portability allows users to take their favorite icons, phrases, and videos and communication essentials on the go. Create Scenes on the go, add and edit or select items directly from the Web, all from you device. Photograph and record sound directly from the iPad. Sync and share Scenes with wireless access.

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iPhone OS 3.2 or later
* 109 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Scene & Heard 1.1 is $49.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category.

Therapy Box, a UK based communication technology company opened its doors in 2008, with an aim to provide creative, cool and affordable AAC solutions. TBoxApps Apps, the app division of Therapy Box includes award winning AAC app, Predictable. Founders Rebecca Bright and Swapnil Gadgil bring over a decade of experience and evidence delivering creative, cool and affordable AAC tools. Joining qualifications as a speech and language therapist in the field of adult neurological speech and language therapy, with an extensive background in the telecoms, retailing, and communications technology industry is the power behind TBoxApps apps solutions. Copyright (C) 2011 Therapy Box. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.