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GIVE ME A BREAK! COMMERCIALISM WINS AGAIN

Postby TracyFortuny » Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:32 pm

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I am disappointed that America and the judges voted for the Angel Tree. While saving lives IS important, so is preserving trees which play an important role in our environment. We are not all Christians in America, and we aren't all proponents of bringing a live tree into our home to watch it die during the holidays.

The deaf teen inventor had a good idea - to help deaf people text message friends and family eachother on the spot. This invention would include him in family conversations. But Peter and the others didn't feel that was as important as a SARAN WRAP DISPENSER. C'mon, what's so hard about getting it out of a kitchen drawer?

Materialism rules in America, and that is sad indeed. Our priorities need to be reevaluated people. Let's focus more on the environment to start.

Postby Scrupulous » Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:17 pm

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Tracy, welcome to the forum.

Although I side with you on the environmental concerns, there's no reason to think that the "winner" of the show was actually determined by America.

In fact, America didn't even get to see many of the decent innovations that got presented at the auditions all over the country. I bet there are plenty of members on this website alone, who could tell you about that.

The point I'm making is that, after two rather suspect seasons, there appears to be very little merit to that show. If you truly have a gripe about it, then you would agree that the show doesn't deserve your attention. Come and join the community by participating in topics that have nothing to do with this show, if you like.

Re: GIVE ME A BREAK! COMMERCIALISM WINS AGAIN

Postby AmericanCynic » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:05 pm

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TracyFortuny wrote:The deaf teen inventor had a good idea - to help deaf people text message friends and family eachother on the spot. This invention would include him in family conversations. But Peter and the others didn't feel that was as important as a SARAN WRAP DISPENSER.

No, they didn't pick it because they didn't think a working prototype could be made for $50,000. And they're right. Chris had an idea, but that's all it was. It would take at the very least several million (more likely tens of millions) dollars to make a handheld prototype, assuming you could even get it to work in an uncontrolled environment. What could Chris have shown them if he'd be picked as a finalist? After $50,000, nothing really. That's not interesting for the audience. Not that I'm defending the Wrapaway. That really didn't need $50,000 spent on it. Heck, I could have made a stainless version for $200. I have no idea what that design company spent four weeks and $50k on.

Be honest, do you really think nobody at the big corporations has ever thought up an idea as basic as this, a handheld voice recognition and speech synthesizer? They haven't pursued it for good reasons, mainly enormous technological obstacles to overcome.

Postby makeworldbetter » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:51 am

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It's really not technological obstacles. I can make a working proof of concept prototype in less than a month, with less than $5000. Just use a laptop PC and run both voice recognizer and speech software. Then convert them to a pocket PC

The thing is really from my opion
1> I don't think that's patentable
2> there isn't enough market to support it
3>Still, it's very hard be done in time as the show wanted to be a ready for shelf prototype

Postby AmericanCynic » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:27 pm

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It's a lot harder than you think. Anybody can slap together a laptop with voice recognition software. Where are you going to get microphones that can pick up clear voice from a distance without undue background noise? And PocketPC? Do you really think any PDA has enough CPU horsepower for voice recognition? I see my multi-gigahertz processors using large amounts of processor cycles whenever voice recognition is running. How long do you think a PDA battery would last if you ran the CPU full out continuously - 30 minutes, maybe an hour? Finally, what do you do about homophones, all the words and phrases that sound like other words and phrases? And that's why it was a bad thing for Chris to have the idea. A deaf person couldn't possibly know that words that look very different on the screen can sound very close or even identical. Is someone saying "they're," "their" or "there"? "You're," "your" or "yore"? "Days," "dais" or "daze"? "Due," "do" or "dew"? Have you actually used voice recognition? I do on a regular basis. It's not as easy or as accurate as you think. It needs training, a good microphone and clear enunciation. Conversational tone and cadence just won't give good results. Also, unlike users dictating into their PC and watching the results on the screen, someone you're trying to "listen" to with the Voice Inside won't know when the device makes a transcription error and thus won't correct it. It's just a nightmare of a device if you actually know anything about the field. I guarantee you if you assembled your "proof of concept" laptop and pointed a supercardioid or shotgun mike at a stranger a few feet away, you'd get gibberish on your screen.

Postby makeworldbetter » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:25 am

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granted

I know all that voice recognition problems. When I said "proof of concept" I meant "proof of concept". To use that machine, you may need to speak like talking to a deaf person, you got to remember this is version 1.0 :D

Agree on that battery part as well. Unless we develop it into a DSP ASIC, it will drain power. Yet I am hoping more like two hours on a pocket PC. Pocket PC save power at hard drive, display area compare to a laptop.

Anyhow, we both agree this idea is just not practical.

Postby TracyFortuny » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:10 pm

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Thank you both for your input. Chris and his family could always text message eachother. I know my family relies heavily on txt msgs. :wink:

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