MiniMerc

The MiniMerc is a compact Windows XP computer that has been specially designed for use as a communication device.  It is housed is a durable, aluminium case, has a built in moisture-resistant, sealed touch screen, a shock mounted hard drive, jacks for connecting access devices such as switches and joysticks and improved speakers suitable for communicating in noisy environments. 

You can load your own choice of communication software on the Mercury.  Environmental control capabilities are built in, giving users the ability to operate appliances such at a TV or VCR. The MiniMerc is very similar to its "big brother" the Mercury, but is smaller in size and does not have a built in CD drive.

Speech

Recorded or synthesised speech.  Mercury uses the standard Microsoft speech software voices.

Symbols

Use with your choice of communication symbols.
Depending on the communication software you use, you may add any digital photograph, symbol or text on your communication display. You can add Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) on your communication displays if you buy the Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro bundle.

Generating Language

You can choose any Communication Software to support the user's preferred method of generating language with symbols, spelling or a combination of methods.
The Mercury is commonly used with the Speaking Dynamically Pro software, which allows you to create communication pages with symbols, digital pictures, spelling, words or phrases.  Each message square can contain a whole sentence or single words, allowing you to build up sentences.  Pages can be linked together electronically, for example, when you press a message that says "I'm hungry" the computer screen could change to a list of food choices.

The MiniMerc includes the Functionally Speaking communication board set for use with Speaking Dynamically Pro (you must purchase Speaking Dynamically Pro separately if you wish to use Functionally Speaking).

Functionally Speaking is a new series of communication boards designed by Assistive Technology Inc. providing device users with an expanded array of communication solutions. It includes two levels of ready-to-use language board sets, each with over 75 functional boards that are most appropriate for younger AAC users. Close to 40 graphical boards are available for the scene-based user. Board sets were created by professionals in the fields of AAC and education: John Standal, MS/CCC-SLP and Christina Murray, B.S. Elementary Education.

Access

Touchscreen, switch scanning, joystick, keyboard or mouse.  The Mercury has built in switch ports and a port to connect a wheelchair joystick.
Scanning options will vary depending on the communication software you choose to load on the Mercury.  See the Communication Software section for options.
Mini Merc hardware is now compatible with Discover Switch software.  Plug a switch directly into the MiniMerc switch port to access Discover Switch software (purchased separately).

Interface

The Mercury has a built in switch interface so does not require an additional interface for scanning access to most communication software.
This interface allows you to plug in two switches, and can be used as both a KEYBOARD and a MOUSE interface.

Output

Infrared Environmental Controls - use the Mercury to operate common household appliances such as your TV and VCR.  It comes with pre-programmed signals for most brands of televisions, VCRs, DVD players and X-10 signals.
If using Speaking Dynamically Pro software, it is possible to have scanning access to these ECU controls.

System

Operating System: Windows® XP
Memory: 256 MB RAM
Processor: 665 MHz TMTM5800
Hard Drive: 20 GB

Power

Internal rechargeable battery and charger supplied.
Approximate battery life = 4 hours of continuous use.
Size
22 x 17 x 31/2 cm
Screen: 21cm (diagonal measurement)
Weight
1.7 kg.