Category: Contest

Sep 15 2014

A 16-Year Old Invents Device that Converts Breath to Speech

TALK Converting Breath to SpeechA High-school student Arsh Shah Dilbagi has invented a portable and affordable device that converts breath into speech, helping people suffering from different developmental disabilities like locked-in syndrome, Parkinson’s, or ALS to communicate using only their breath.

A 16-year-old Dilbagi who hails from Harayana’s Panipat region in India has come up as the only entry from Asia in the 15 global finalists at the Google Science Fair 2014, a competition open to 13 to 18 year old thinkers.

This augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, Dilbagi dubbed it as ‘Talk’, can turn breath signals into speech using the assistance of Morse code. This innovative device can be used by people with developmental disabilities whose communication abilities are impaired.

Over 1.4 percent of the world’s total population suffers from some disorder that renders victims almost completely paralyzed, making them difficult in speaking and forcing them to use an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to communicate with others.

A majority of AAC devices use eye tracking in order to help people communicate with each other, but according to Dilbagi, the amateur inventor, most of those devices are very expensive, very expensive, slow and bulky, so in an effort to create a device that offers faster and more affordable alternative to victims, he invented “Talk.” It took him three months of research and another seven months to build the final prototype.

The device uses a basic $25 Arduino microcontroller, and the total invention costs only $80 (Rs 5000) about a hundred times less than the sort of Augmentative and Alternative Communication device used by Stephen Hawking, making it affordable to the large number of population.

The device translates breath signals into electric signals using a special device called MEMS Microphone. This technology uses a pressure-sensitive diaphragm etched directly onto a silicon microchip, and an amplifying device to increase the sound of the user’s breath.

Breath to Speech Converter

The user is required to give two distinguishable exhales, varying in intensity or time, so that they can spell words out using the assistance of Morse code. The morse code can either be translated into English, or specific commands and phrases. The device features nine different voices varying in age and gender.

A microprocessor is used to interpret these breathes into dots and dashes that converts them into words. Once the breath is converted into words, they are sent to a second microprocessor that then converts them into voice.

You can see the video demonstration of the device in which Dilbagi is explaining about the device.

Jan 26 2014

Google Pwnium 4 Invites Hackers to Attack Chrome OS at CanSecWest

google pwnium 4 Google holds regular competitions to encourage involvement in improving the security of the Chromium project. Contests like Pwnium helps to better patch specific exploits and issues to make Chromium even more secure.

This year Pwnium 4 will once again set sights on Chrome OS, and will be hosted in March at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver.

With a total of $2.71828 Million USD in the pot, Pwnium rewards will be issued for eligible Chrome OS exploits at the following levels:

— $110,000 USD: browser or system-level compromise in guest mode or as a logged-in user, delivered via a web page.
— $150,000 USD: compromise with device persistence: guest to guest with interim reboot, delivered via a web page.

Past Pwnium competitions have focused on Intel-based Chrome OS devices, but this year researchers can choose between an ARM-based Chromebook, the HP Chromebook 11 (WiFi), or the Acer C720 Chromebook (2GB WiFi) that is based on the Intel Haswell microarchitecture. The attack must be demonstrated against one of these devices running the then-current stable version of Chrome OS.

Participants need to register in advance for a timeslot. To register, e-mail Registration will close at 5:00 p.m. PST Monday, March 10th, 2014. Only exploits demonstrated on time in this specifically-arranged window will be eligible for a reward.

More Info:
The Chromium Blog : Announcing Pwnium 4 Targeting Chrome OS
Pwnium4@CanSecWest2014 : Official Rules
Chromium OS : Developer Guide