The DS, in its various forms, has not only been the biggest selling handheld console of all time, but has also played a role beyond that of a simple gaming machine. As we reported last year, Art Academy has helped students with their creative skills, while there are plenty of educational software options available. Reports in Japan are now suggesting that the role of the DS in the classroom still has space to evolve.

As reported by Andriasang, a major communications company is working with Nintendo to develop speech recognition technology. The purpose of this is to assist disabled children by converting the teacher's speech into text on the DS screen. The system will save the information so that it can be accessed by the pupil at any time, while communications between the DS systems will also be utilised.

Although this is only a trial in two regions of Japan, it's a good example of gaming technology being used to support and improve education. If you want to see the system in action, a video of the original Japanese news report can be accessed at