I had the pleasure of spending part of my Saturday getting my teeth drilled. I’m very grateful to have found a new dentist willing to see me on such short notice after breaking off part of my tooth and an adjacent filling last night. Not exactly how I planned to spend my weekend, but I did find a new way to use my iPhone.
Pretty early on in the procedure, after my mouth had been numbed, the dentist hit started scraping with his pick. I jumped in pain and he mentioned something about the size of the hole in my tooth.
It’s pretty tough to communicate when there are a bunch of instruments crammed in my mouth. But I had questions and wanted to explain to him what exactly hurt so he didn’t pump me full of too much novocaine. So I pulled out my iPhone to ask him about the size of the cavity and explain that the second shot of pain killer did the job.
A second dentist came in to assist. The two of them were talking about how they were going to fix my teeth and I joined in on the discussion by tapping my questions and answers in the Notes app. This image is part of the conversation.
This experience got me wondering if there’s an app that could help people with communicate when they couldn’t speak. I found an application called Proloquo2Go by AssistiveWare that does exactly that. Users can type messages or choose from pr-eformed words and phrases. The are then spoken by a selection of voices. AssistiveWare costs $149, which is very expensive for an iPhone app, but relatively cheap compared to dedicated Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately I have to go back to the dentist this week for more work and may end up using my Notes app to communicate again. Porloquo2Go is overkill for me, but I would like to find an app that can auto-complete words and phrases. Any ideas?