SOURCE: Not Impossible

March 16, 2016 17:20 ET

Not Impossible Wins 2016 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award for "Don's Voice"

Not Impossible and HP #BendTheRules Creates Technology Communicating True Love

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - March 16, 2016) -  Not Impossible's "Don Voice" project was honored with a 2016 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award in the category of "Best Innovation of Connecting People." Awarded for the best new way to connect and communicate with others, Don's Voice is a digital solution created by Not Impossible to help ALS patient Don Moir communicate, audibly saying "I love you, Lorraine" to his wife for the first time in 15 years.

The 2016 award marks the second consecutive year Not Impossible has won the SXSW Innovation award. In 2015, Not Impossible received the award for "Project Daniel," the world's first 3D printed prosthetic laboratory in Sudan that designed and produced a 3D printed arm prosthetic allowing 14-year-old, double amputee Daniel to feed himself for the first time in two years.

"Don's Voice" was initiated after Lorraine Moir contacted Not Impossible Founder Mick Ebeling to help create a communication solution for her husband Don, who suffers from ALS. Don was diagnosed with ALS in 1995. As he lost more of his motor-neurological functions, he was fitted with a ventilator in 1999. Unable to speak, he had been communicating via a letter board, a sheet of paper with the alphabet. Letter-by-letter, word-by-word, Don communicated silently through others for over a decade.

The Not Impossible team, led by volunteer Javed Gangjee, utilized its know-how, the HP x360 Convertible PC and SpeakYourMind Foundation software to develop an interface that replicated Don's paper letter board to help him communicate audibly.

"We hope Don's Voice will inspire and remind others to tell their loved ones they love them, and to use technology to connect with each other rather than disconnect," states Mick Ebeling, Not Impossible Founder. "In the midst of busy schedules and the madness of everyday life -- sometimes you just need a reminder to #VoiceYourLove to those you care about most."

About Not Impossible

The goal of all Not Impossible backed tech solutions is to create awareness and accessibility. "Don's Voice" sees the evolution of Not Impossible's journey and the dedication of its team of volunteers since its beginnings with the Eyewriter, launched in order to find a solution to help LA street artist Tempt One, who was afflicted with ALS, create art again. 

The Eyewriter was an open source, low-cost, DIY device that enabled individuals with paralysis to communicate and create using only the movement of their eyes. Among its many accolades, Time Magazine named the Eyewriter one of the "Top 50 Inventions of 2010" and the device is now part of MoMA's permanent collection.

Not Impossible's follow-up endeavor, Project Daniel: 3D Printing Prosthetic Arms for Children of War-torn Sudan, was the subject of Intel's 2014 "Look Inside" campaign created with Venables Bell & Partners. Inspired by 16-year-old double-amputee Daniel Omar, Ebeling traveled to Sudan to 3D-print and fit prosthetic limbs for children of the war-torn region, then left the equipment behind with locals he'd trained, thus establishing the world's first 3D-printing prosthetic lab and training facility. As a result of the project, Daniel fed himself for the first time in two years.

Just as those endeavors give everyday people the solutions to help others, Not Impossible and HP have teamed up to #BendTheRules with technology and to empower everyone to download and share the software made for Don. Let's all help SpeakYourMind make the program better, faster, and more accessible to all, so that you, too, can #VoiceYourLove next Valentine's Day.