Sixteen-year-old Arsh Shah Dilbagi has found a way to convert human breath into speech, and he says his invention could transform the lives of an estimated 1.4 percent of the world's population who have conditions that prevent them from communicating verbally.
The Indian teen recently earned a spot as one of 18 finalists in the 2014 Google Science Fair for his invention, called "TALK." Arsh has created a new kind of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Device (AAC), which enables people with medical conditions that make speech difficult, or even impossible, to express themselves out loud. (Famous scientist Stephen Hawking, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), uses an AAC device.)
TALK converts human breath into letters, allowing users to dictate words or phrases and communicate at up to three times the speed allowed by current ACC devices. While today's AAC devices cost thousands of dollars, Arsh says that TALK would be much less expensive to make and could sell for under $100.
(Hat tip: Business Insider)