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Breath Bird app lets you tweet by blowing into a mic

TechFirm's free iPad app enables people who can't use their fingers to tweet by selecting letters with breath power.

Breath Bird is handy for people who can't use their hands or fingers. TechFirm

While humanoid robots in the U.S. are helping paralyzed patients regain some independence, a Japanese firm has released a Twitter client for iPad that lets people tweet simply by breathing.

TechFirm's Breath Bird is a free app that works as a simple pointing device for people who can't use their hands or fingers.

The software was developed in collaboration with Keio University in Tokyo and other partners. It's linked to a Twitter account and displays the timeline to the left of a grid of letters in the English version or hiragana characters in the Japanese version.

A moving cursor slowly highlights rows of letters one at a time. The user breathes into a microphone headset to make selections.

When the user blows into the mic, the row will be selected. Next, individual letters will be highlighted in turn, and are selected by blowing into the mic. Finally, a "tweet" function can be selected to send out the message.

The process takes time, but it seems to be quicker than Guger Technologies' EEG skullcap that lets you type just by thinking.