AutoVerbal Pro Talking Soundboard for Non-Verbal Users Wins Award at CES

in Medical (E)

[prMac.com] Las Vegas, Nevada - No Tie's AutoVerbal Pro Talking Soundboard has been selected as a winner in the Relationship/Family Caregiving category in the first annual Sterling Awards competition, as announced at the Silvers Summit Conference at CES today. Sponsored by AARP, the Sterling Awards identify the very best in technology innovation and product excellence for Americans age 50+.

No Tie's AutoVerbal Pro Talking Soundboard was selected as winner in Relationship/Family Caregiving category. Other Sterling Award winners include:
* Health & Wellness - Company: GrandCare Systems, Product: GC HomeBase
* Education/Continued Learning - Company: LiveMocha, Product: LiveMocha
* Entertainment - Company: My Gait LLC, Product: My Gait Senior Computer
* Cause-Worthy Product/Service - Company: Great Grabz, Product: Unique Touch Grab Bars

The bestselling app, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, allows people who are non-verbal, due to stroke, surgery or other conditions such as Cerebral Palsy or Autism, to communicate using hundreds of photo buttons representing common words or phrases. Users can also program a variety of buttons to speak custom messages. Finally, users can type anything and it will be spoken using Text-To-Speech.

Without such an app, patients had to use expensive, bulky devices costing $3,000 to $6,000. Now, for a fraction of that, everyone can afford to communicate. Competing apps are priced anywhere from $40 to $250, but to reach a large audience, AutoVerbal Pro is $10 and is a Universal app. This means with one purchase, AutoVerbal app runs on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with a screen-specific interface for each. The goal was to build an elegant app that no user, be they child, adult or senior, would feel 'stigmatized' by using. AutoVerbal looks just like other quality iOS apps instead of using a cartoonish interface, commonly found in other solutions. And as the affordable AAC alternative, users can easily buy their own mobile AutoVerbal device without worrying about Medicare coverage.

"No Tie is honored to have been singled out for their contributions to the Non-Verbal community," noted Todd Bernhard, President of No Tie. "Many of us take something as simple as talking for granted, but it can be a struggle for so many, whether they are children or seniors. Our goal with AutoVerbal was to create an elegant yet affordable app that people of any age could use and not feel stigmatized. When AutoVerbal became the #1 iPad Medical app and #2 iPhone Medical app, we were thrilled, but it's the ongoing appreciation from our users that is really satisfying."

Some unsolicited reviews include:

"[Esteemed NZ musician Chris Knox] had a stroke last year. I bought Chris an iPad specifically because of your AutoVerbal app. I try to get him to use it when he is having trouble expressing what he is trying to get across as he has almost no speech. There is potential for this to be a long term major tool to help him. Thanks again, you are doing good work."

"I had to handle the purchase of this app delicately. I bought the app for my iPad, learned how to use it and then showed my daughter as I set up her iPad. I did not suggest it as it might have seemed pushy to her. When I asked what apps she would like after looking at a few she asked for the "Word Game," what I call the AutoVerbal Pro. She has a Dynavox but won't use it as I think it is for "handicapped" people. When I left her house today she and her staff were busy working on using it. She likes it and I think that she is the best judge for this type of app. It is very simple and the pictures are very colorful and can be enlarged. There is a female and a male voice choice... Good job."

AutoVerbal builds upon the success No Tie Software has had with the AutoRingtone family of TEXT-TO-SPEECH Talking Ringtone apps. AutoRingtone users have created over 4 million custom ringtones using the same Text-to-Speech technology behind AutoVerbal. AutoRingtone assists both the visually impaired community as well as mobile professionals who would prefer to hear who is calling rather than take their eyes of the road. They don't need to see their phone and they don't have to remember which song is for which contact. AutoRingtone lets their phone tell them who is calling, literally!

The purpose of the inaugural Sterling Awards is to identify the peerless products (design, functionality, purpose) that enhance, empower and exemplify the lifestyles of the Boomer and Silvers audience. Winning criteria included products or services that solve a problem/issue and have relevancy for the lifestyles for those age 50+:
* Limited mobility and agility
* Limitations with eyesight or hearing
* Cognitive thinking skills/brain health
* Communication, education and engagement

In addition, products must enhance one of the following for those age 50+:
* Health and wellness aiding longevity
* Intergenerational interaction and learning (includes family caregiving)
* Safety (in the home, car, community, etc.)
* Social connectivity or networks (help in eliminating isolation)
* Engages user in social or environmental cause

Award winners were chosen by the expert panel of judges from: Aging in Place Technology Watch, AARP, Carnegie Mellon University, Care2, Compelling Telling, Continua Health Alliance, Mary Furlong & Associates, National Alliance for Caregiving, NPR Labs, PBS Kids Interactive, SmartSilvers Alliance, Vibrant Nation.

"We congratulate No Tie and all of our Sterling Award winners who offer unique ways to enrich the lives of the 100 million boomers and silvers in our society today," said Sherri Snelling, co-producer, Silvers Summit. "We hope the Sterling Awards become an annual showcase that illustrates the new and improved ways that technology can help us stay healthy, happy, connected to family and friends, living in our homes longer, and making a difference in the world as we age."

Visit the Silvers Summit Web site for more information about the Sterling Award.

The 4th Annual Silvers Summit at the 2012 International CES is where the thought leaders on aging and technology come together. The one-day conference addresses trends, innovations and strategies in the areas of social media, gaming, driving safety, mobile technology, universal design, smart homes and communities, and customer service addressing the largest and most influential demographic in our society today - Americans age 50.

About Silvers Summit:
The Silvers Summit at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is where the thought leaders on an aging society and technology come together. The conference and exhibit assembles companies, distributors, journalists, research firms, and think tanks, to demonstrate the products and services that will help consumers age 50+ stay engaged, empowered and help enhance their lives. The Silvers Summit and Exhibition is presented by Living in Digital Times, producer of the following summits and exhibitions at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show: Digital Health, Fitness Tech Summit, HigherEd Tech Summit, Kids@Play Summit, MommyTech Summit, Mobile Apps Showdown, and Last Gadget Standing.

Disclaimer:
Silvers Summit (a property of Living in Digital Times, Inc.) does not endorse or promote any of the Sterling Award winners. AARP, the Sterling Award sponsor, does not endorse or promote any of the Sterling Award winners.

Silvers Summit and Sterling Award are service marks of Living In Digital Times, Inc.

AutoVerbal Pro Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iPhone OS 3.1.3 or later
* 43.1 MB

Pricing and Availability:
AutoVerbal Pro Talking Soundboard 4.0 is only $9.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Medical category.

Since 2008, No Tie Software has been delivering fun and clever iPhone apps, including bestselling Ringtone and Sound FX apps such as AutoRingtone and 100sounds. Copyright (C) 2008-2012 No Tie Software. 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.

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