IAM Instant Messenger™

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If you are using Windows XP, click here to add “Mike” and “Mary.”

If you are using Windows 2000, you will need to click here download the Microsoft Speech kit. It is a large download - 68Mb.

You may download the Microsoft Speech Kit for more voices in our speech-related programs.

IAM Instant Messenger (pronounced “I Am") is an instant messenger program designed specifically for those with sight impairments and that cannot use a keyboard to type sentences. Inspired by a young girl named Cass, IAM connects to the popular Microsoft Instant Messenger Network and allows instant communication with anyone using Microsoft Instant Messenger.

IAM utilizes a voice synthesizer to read communication to the user, and to ask the user what they would like to say. The user can send their choice of complete sentences by pressing one button with their input device.

New Features and Fixes:

  • Ability to parse smartquestions and present IAM user with choices
    (ie “What would you like to eat? hot dog, spaghetti, or pizza?)
  • IM-To-Mobile-Phone
  • Selection system for communication with individual contacts
  • Expanded Demo Mode
  • New Graphical Interface
  • User friendly voice synthesizer
  • Ability to handle more than or less than three responses
  • Ability to customize buttons; supports unlimited buttons
  • Ability to create custom AI Response Choices
  • Ability to Administer Contacts
  • Artificial Intelligent Answer Choices Selection for Common Questions

System Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows XP with Live Internet Connection
  • Microsoft .Net Framework 1.1 Installed.

  • If you have latest patches and service packs installed you should have the .Net Framework installed on your computer. If you do not, you can acquire it by Clicking Here. Do not install the beta .NET Framework 2.0!

  • Microsoft Speech Voices (click here to download all voices)
  • IAM Instant uses the built-in functionality of Microsoft Speech.
  • Recommended minimum system capabilities: Pentium computer with 500 mhz processor, 128 mb RAM
  • Speakers required for voice synthesizer

Installation Instructions

NOTE: Please make sure all previous versions of IAM have been completely uninstalled prior to installation

1) Click here to download. when prompted, choose “save as” and save the file IAMsetup.zip to a location you can easily remember, such as your Desktop.

2) Unzip IaMsetup.zip. If you are using Windows XP, simply double-click the program’s icon. Windows 2000 users may download WinZip by clicking here.

3) You will be prompted for a location in which the unzipped files should be placed. You may choose any location, but be sure and remember it.

4) After you have unzipped the setp file, go to the directory you unzipped to and run “Setup.exe”

Configuration Instructions

Microsoft Instant Messenger must be configured for the user before IAM can be used. If you are familiar with Microsoft Instant Messenger, set a passport up for the IAM user, and skip to “Configuring IAM” below. If you are not familiar with MSN Instant Messenger, follow these instructions:

Setting up an Instant Messenger Passport for the user

1) Click here and complete the form to get your free passport

2) Write down your passport username and password. You will need it for Microsoft Instant Messenger configuration and IAM Instant Messenger Configuration

Configuring IAM

The first time you run IAM, you must enter the passport credentials for the user.

1) Run IAM by clicking the icon on the computer desktop or in the Start Menu, both of which were created during install.

2) Once IAM loads, click Tools-->Configuration. The configuration manager will popup.

3) Enter the passport information in the Connection Manager along with a display name for the user, as follows:

4) Click Finished. Click Tools--->Exit to exit and then restart the program with the saved settings.

Changing Voices

If you would like to change the IAM voice:

1) Click Start --> Control Panels

2) Double Click on speech

3) In the dropdown list of voices, click on one and then click preview to hear a sample of the voice.

4) Once you have decided which voice you like, click OK

Using IAM

When IAM is started, it automatically logs into the Microsoft Instant Messenger network and initiates conversation with each available contact on the user’s contact list.

Providing parsed statements

If you would like to send a question or statement to the user using IAM, all you need to do is send the question and answers separated by a ‘/’ mark. For example, if you want to ask the IAM user if they would rather have a hamburger or hot dog for dinner, you would say: “What do you want for dinner?/hamburger/hot dog”

Choosing who you want to speak with

If you are not in a conversation, you will be prompted with the question: “Who do you want to talk to?” IAM will then cycle through the users that are currently online, and you can select the person you want to talk to, or you can select “Nobody” if you do not wish to talk to anyone.

Knowing who you are online with

When IAM initiates a conversation with one of the user’s contacts, the speech synthesizer will announce to the user: “YOU ARE ONLINE WITH “ and then say the name of the contact.

Getting a message

When a contact sends the user a message, the voice synthesizer will identify the name of the user which sent the message and then say the message: For example: “John says: Hi Cass!”

Selecting and sending a message

The voice synthesizer will cycle through all available messages and ask the user if they would like to say each sentence.

The user input device should be configured to activate the “Enter” key. The user must use his/her input device to equivalently depress the “Enter” key in order to send the sentence that the voice synthesizer has just asked.

Configuring delays

You can tailor IAM to an individual user by clicking “Configure--->Accessibility” to bring up the accessiblity manager:

You can specify the number of seconds the voice synthesizer pauses between each sentence, and the number of seconds the voice synthesizer waits for a response once a sentence is sent before asking the user sentences again.

When you are finished, click the “finished” button. Experiment with different settings to see which are best suited to the IAM user.

Published on July 01, 2007

End of Features Teaser