Google and Tobii Dynavox, a company known for their accessibility-friendly tablets and mobile apps, are working together to bring Google Assistant to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. AAC devices support people with disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, to control smart homes or other devices through methods other than speech.
Tobii Dynavox Snap Core First software is already well known thanks to an easy-to-use tile system. Users can access preconfigured tiles on their dedicated tablets and apps by touch or moment and scan.
The tiles can already perform tasks such as outputting speech, but they will do even more with Google Assistant. Users can create a tile to perform almost any task you normally use Google Assistant for, such as turning smart lights on and off or asking about the day̵7;s weather or schedule.
Google also promises a simple installation:
First, create a Google Account and set up a smart speaker or smart screen in the Google Home app on Android or iOS. After accessing the Snap Core First app, you can then configure tiles by selecting a button in edit mode, clicking “Add Action” and then pressing “Submit Google Assistant Command.”
Google is also expanding its recently announced Action Blocks to help with the effort. You can already use action blocks to condense a multi-step command into a single press, but it takes a bit of effort to learn how to set up a block.
And as of today, Action Blocks will work with the Tobii Dynavox library with tens of thousands of image communication symbols. This means that everyone who is already familiar with Tobii Dynavox’s system does not have to learn about a new system, which drastically reduces the curve to get started.
You can embed action blocks directly in switches. This is a great advantage, because then pressing a physical button will trigger a Google Assistant action on your phone. With a quick tap, you can call, start a video or turn off a smart light and more.