Amsterdam-based AssistiveWare on Monday introduced
1.0, a new speech solution for Mac OS X intended for people who can’t speak or have impairments that might otherwise limit their interaction with the computer. It costs US$299 and works with Mac OS X v10.3 or later.
Different from the “VoiceOver” technology in Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger,” Proloquo isn’t only designed as a screen reader, which is VoiceOver’s primary function. AssistiveWare describes Proloquo as “a multipurpose speech solution” the combines features geared towards users with limited vision — like the ability to speak what is underneath the cursor and to echo what the user types.
It also works as a communication system for people who can’t speak, can operate as a talking word processor and more. It can also act as a speech engine for other AssistiveWare software, such as KeyStrokes — the company’s on-screen keyboard software, and SwitchXS, its switch access software for Mac OS X.
Proloquo also features support for “Acapela” text-to-speech voices. The registration fee gets you a language of your choice, including US English, UK English, German, Dutch, Flemish, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian or Brazilian Portuguese; additional voices can be purchased for $119.