Ambient Audeo demonstrates Live Voiceless Phone Call with TI MSP430 MCU

Ambient Corporation gave the first live demonstration of how its new technology, the Audeo, will enable voiceless communication either face-to-face or via phone. The Audeo, based on ultra-low power MSP430 microcontroller (MCU) technology from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN), will offer life-changing options for people who have lost the ability to move or speak due to neurological disorders, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s.

“The Audeo can enable voiceless communication that is virtually as easy as just thinking about it,” said Michael Callahan, CEO and co-founder of Ambient Corporation. “Historically, every time it becomes easier for people to communicate, people become more connected and the interactions enrich people’s lives. It is our hope that the Audeo will allow many more profound ideas to change the world through communication.”

The Audeo is a wireless sensor worn on the neck to capture neurological activity that the brain sends to the vocal cords, and then digitizes this activity using analog and digital technology to turn it into speech. Thanks to the extremely low power consumption of TI’s MSP430 MCUs, the Audeo can last over eight hours on a single charge, giving people the ability to interact with their world knowing they will be able to communicate.

During a keynote presentation at the Texas Instruments Developer Conference (TIDC), Ambient’s Callahan demonstrated this technology by using the Audeo to place the world’s first, voiceless cellphone call to Mike Hames, TI’s Senior Vice President of Application Specific Products (ASP). The Audeo takes information gathered from the sensor worn on the neck and sends this information to a mobile phone using Bluetooth® wireless technology.

“Ambient is at the forefront of innovative technology that will enable people to communicate in entirely new ways,” said Hames. “Whether helping give the gift of communication to someone who has lost the ability to speak, or allowing consumers to communicate voicelessly via cellphone in environments not conducive to conversation, TI is committed to helping customers like Ambient who are solving problems that change the world.”

In addition to this innovative speech technology, by incorporating the Audeo with additional hardware, Ambient has successfully controlled a wheelchair without the need of physical movement. Ambient expects that its first product to enable speech for individuals with ALS will be available before the end of 2008.

TI Enables Innovation with Broad Range of Controllers
From ultra-low-power MCUs from its MSP430 platform and 32-bit general purpose ARM7-based MCUs from the TMS470 platform, to high performance TMS320C2000TM DSP platform of digital signal controllers, TI offers designers the broadest range of embedded control solutions. Designers can also accelerate their design to market by tapping into TI’s complete software and hardware tools, extensive third-party offerings and technical support.

About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 25 countries.

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