Stephen-Hawking-intel
Image: Intel

Short Bytes: Mr. Stephen Hawking is a victim of ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Most of you would be aware of Stephen Hawking’s computer made by Intel that helps him in communicating with others. Now, Intel has announced to make its proprietary code an open source software so that engineers can develop a better and cost effective version for all the ALS patients worldwide.

Scientists and engineers across the world have been trying for a long time to create devices and machines that would make life easy for the ALS patients. ALS is a motor neuron disease that causes muscle wasting and results in the paralysis of the body.

Mr. Stephen Hawking is arguably one of the smartest person on the planet alive today, but sadly he himself is a victim of ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Fortunately, he can communicate through a special computer devised by Intel in 1997. Stephen Hawking’s computer has the technology and a source code that is guarded by the proprietary laws forged in signature by Intel.

The proprietary laws had led to slow down the improvisations in the technology and the new innovations could not brood. On the other hand, Stephen Hawking’s computer communication technology that uses eye movement of the ALS patient to convert into speech is being devised.

Now, Intel has announced to make Stephen Hawking’s computer code an open source software so that engineers can develop a better and cost effective version for all the ALS patients worldwide. In an interview given to Bloomberg, Lana Nachman, Intel Labs Principal Engineer explained the problems that they had to face while improving the system because of the proprietary issues.

Also Read: Ask Questions From Stephen Hawking On His First Reddit AMA From Today

After the Stephen Hawking’s computer program code becomes open source, the scientists are expecting fast advancements in the sensor designs and text to speech conversions.

The present design of Stephen Hawking’s computer has an infrared sensor that is connected to the only working muscle in Hawking’s cheek, and sends the data to the CPU of the computer. A software then types the message from the given options that are already programmed in the system, and finally a text to speech converter.

 

Stephen Hawking, despite his illness, has achieved many feats in his life and given the researchers many  theories to work upon. Recently, he along with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner has announced a $100 million project to search for alien life.

Now the OEMs have an opportunity to create a system, be it hardware or software, over the already accessible Stephen Hawking’s computer. So, that sounds like a good news for both the ALS patients and their families.

Get the source code here.

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