This week the Cool Blind Tech team discuss some major issues affecting your privacy while you are logged on to the internet. Joel, Jessica, and Hugo share their thoughts on Virtual Private Networks, how it affects you and why you should care. Plenty of important and fun topics are just waiting for you to press play on your favorite podcast player.
ASU Associate Professor Bradley Greger helped develop a medical implant to help the blind see. The implant, developed in partnership with California based company second sight, is implanted in a person’s visual cortex. The idea is to provide visual information directly into the brain and help individuals who don’t have a functional retina receive visual information.
Easter is rapidly approaching, but not all children are ready for the hunt. An Easter egg hunt can feel like an exclusionary event for a blind child, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are battery powered plastic Easter eggs out there that can either beep when turned on, or talk to give hints of where they are located.
Head over to Amazon or MaxiAids to find beeping eggs that can be used year after year. You will only need to replace the batteries from time to time.
If you want something a little different than a simple beeping Easter egg, try JoJo & Friends Electronic Talking Hide ‘ and Find ‘Em Easter Egg Hunt. Not surprisingly, you will get a better deal on these Easter eggs if you buy in bulk.
The ride-hailing company this week joined with the National Federation of the Blind for a partnership that promises to increase awareness of blind passengers’ rights, advocate for effective public policies and expand transportation options for blind passengers and those with low vision.
Luke Edward, competing in the MasseyHacks III competition, has come up with the Brailleboard which is a way of providing blind people with access to a braille keyboard. Luke has used 3D printing to produce key caps that are labelled in braille. These key caps will replace the existing key caps on a standard keyboard. This will be incredibly helpful for visually impaired children learning to type, those who have recently lost their vision, and those who are learning braille.
It will also be helpful for those who are not entirely familiar with every key on the keyboard. Let’s face it. We don’t always use every key on a regular basis. It will also eliminate the need to count the keys on the number row. Wouldn’t it be nice to have those numbers and function keys clearly labelled in braille?
The new Windows Creator’s update will now use Cortana to help you set up windows right out-of-the-box. Whether you do a clean install of windows or purchase a new computer with the Creator’s Update, Cortana will now walk you through the set up process. You can still set up windows by using a keyboard and mouse. But, if you prefer to sit back, relax, and respond to Cortana’s questions you can set up most of The Creator’s Update without touching a peripheral device.
A new bill has been introduced into the House of Representatives which will help Visually Impaired Americans with the cost of accessible technology. H.R. 1734 is called the Access Technology Affordability
Act of 2017 and you can follow the bill’s status here.
This week the Cool Blind Tech Team discusses some of the important questions surrounding the headlines in the tech world. Join Joel, Jessica, and Nelson as they share their opinions on whether or not a companies reputation should influence their decision on what accessible technology to buy. These answers and more are just waiting for you to press play and listen.
Neato announced that several of their smart vacuums will now work with Google Home. These vacuums already work with Amazon Echo, and they can also be controlled with an app on your smart phone.
Ask your Neato to start cleaning and it will leave its docking station, and get to work. Ask Neato to report its battery level, and you will get an answer through your Google Home speaker. You can also control your Neato vacuum through your smart phone app even when you are not home.
The D3 Connected, D5 Connected, and Botvac Connected vacuums work with Google Home, but only in the US.