The Parrot Keyboard

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Mith & his keyboard
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Mith and his keyboard

Mith has now had his keyboard for about three months, and I have had friends with parrots ask a number of questions about Mith and his keyboard. Does he use it? Yes, frequently throughout the day. The keyboard program keeps track of which keys he hits, how often, and when, so we can get a good idea of his use of it throughout the day. He never seems to tire of it, perhaps because we can change it frequently.

What happens when Mith presses a key? Well, that depends on what mode he's in. We have several modes set currently in the program, and changing modes involves just selecting one from a dropdown menu.

In one mode, Mith sees pictures of family members, and hears them saying phrases like "What a pretty bird you are!" and "I can say 'Hello'; can you say 'Hello'?" In another mode, he sees pictures of animals, and hears (for example) "This is the dog. The dog says 'Woof!'"

It is very easy to create new modes just by uploading pictures and sounds into a new folder. The software interface is very (human) user-friendly.

We have noticed that Mith definitely uses the phrases he hears on the keyboard more often, perhaps because it is interactive. The keyboard might be the only useful method (besides just talking to Mith) that I have seen that actually seems to teach him to use new phrases.

Interested in having a keyboard for your birds?

Can we make a keyboard for your bird? Yes, as soon as we figure out how much to charge for the keyboard and software. We are working on that now, and expect to be able to fulfill the requests we have been getting for keyboards in the near future.

The keyboard is interesting enough to other birds that we have seen Prospero (our Blue & Gold Macaw) watching Mith intently when he's using it, and repeating the phrases that the program produces.

At some point, we intend to set up a web site just for birds, with lots of different images and sounds for them to experience. When that happens, a bird with a keyboard will be able to surf that site, and enjoy a variety of sights and sounds all on his/her own.

Please feel free to email us with any questions, or to get on a list of people who want to get a keyboard for their birds once we get the marketing stuff figured out. You can reach us at:

 


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