In this episode of Cool Picks, Joel Ramos, Hugo Gallegos, and Rachel Feinberg tell us all about their favourite gadgets from this year’s Assistive Technology Conference, hosted by California State University Northridge.
Inside Vision has created one of the coolest products for people who are blind. The InsideOne is a full size Windows 10 tablet with 32cells of refreshable braille located along the bottom of the screen. This device also allows a person to type in braille on the screen, but there is no longer a need to make sure that your fingers are perfectly allied to be recognized. There are indentations in the glass, and this is where you place your fingers when typing in braille. I think this is a much better design than trying to add a Perkins style physical keyboard in addition to the 32cell line of refreshable braille. It also makes it feel more in line with a traditional Windows tablet. You don’t have to use braille input. There is an option for a virtual on screen keyboard. In addition, you could use a Bluetooth connected keyboard or a USB connected keyboard. The tablet still has a touch sensitive glass screen that responds to Windows 10 gestures.
In this exciting Spotlight interview, James Oates sits down with the highly intelligent team at Grapheel Innovation. The team consists of:
• Daniel Hajas: Blind, theoretical physics student with PhD in Informatics, special research interest on accessible STEM.
• Tim Lingard: Programmer and physicist, PhD student at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (Portsmouth), Head of Information Systems and online services.
• David Turner: Physics student at Sussex, Head of R&D at Grapheel, researching engineering solutions for the Tactile Graphics Display.
The team discusses the enormous problem that exist in providing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education to people who are blind or visually impaired. They explained the three-pronged approach that they have devised to conquer this problem.
Step one is called “Iris,” which is a science community based image description service specifically for STEM graphical content used as teaching material. The student uploads an image, and receives a detailed description from a volunteer who is a professional in that field of study.
The second is a consultancy scheme where they will advise on solutions that are in existence for accessible science. Various assistive software, hardware, teaching resources, good practice in science accessibility and so on.
The third is the development of a Tactile Graphics Display. They wish to carry out hardware research and development and concentrate on materials science for developing cost and performance efficient actuators. They also wish to collaborate with the various initiatives developing their own tactile displays and open their operating system for third party developers. This way Grapheel could develop STEM specific applications for already existing tactile graphics display devices, since there are organizations like the American Printing House for the Blind, doing a great job in the hardware development front.
Visit Grapheel’s website to learn more or get involved in helping in this remarkable effort.
You can also follow Grapheel on Twitter.
Autommatic has developed a useful add-on for Google Docs that allows you to post directly to your WordPress site from Google Docs.
If you are collaborating on a post with another author, you can both work on the same document in Google Docs before posting to your website. Images and formatting of your document will easily transfer to WordPress.
The add-on can be found on the Google Web Store page and you just must click to install it. Then, you’ll have to give the plugin access to post on your behalf. That’s it. You can now use Google Docs to write your next WordPress blog post with your colleagues.
Once you are ready to save the Google Docs draft as a blog post, you can go to the add-on’s menu and open WordPress.com for Google Docs. The sidebar that shows up is the place where you can add WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected sites, from which you’ll later choose.
Save the draft and when that process is done, a preview link will appear so you can see what it looks like on the site. Any additional tweaks can be made directly into the WordPress.com editor.
Microsoft Garage is developing another really cool iOS app called Hearing AI. This app runs on an iOS device. It shows the intensity of sounds around you, and it also uses real-time speech-to-text technology to display a written transcription of conversations picked up by your phone’s microphone. Not only can you read what someone is saying to you, but you can also see a display of how loud and soft their voice is while they are speaking.
In this very special VIP, Joel Ramos, Hugo Gallegos, and Rachel Feinberg tell us all about their exciting experiences at this year’s Assistive Technology Conference, hosted by California State University Northridge.
Qatar Computing Research Institute developed a virtual on-screen one-handed braille keyboard for those who are blind and have motor impairments that make two-handed braille typing difficult to perform. This app is free to download from the iOS app store, but is currently not available for Android devices. You are able to use it as your default keyboard, or just switch to it when you want. It divides a braille cell into two columns. You enter the dots for the first column, followed by the dots for the second column. I gave it a try, and once I got used to the gestures that accompany one-handed typing, I found it quite easy to use.
The CBT Team can’t get enough of the Dot Smart Watch as Hugo Gallegos gets a demonstration from Alex Lee of Dot Incorporated. The watch will be go into production later this month.
Tomorrow, March 7, Microsoft is holding a live session to announce the same day release of Visual Studio 2017.
Microsoft is holding a two-day virtual event to present the latest integrated development environment (IDE) in detail, and all developers will be able to follow the live stream and learn how to get started with interactive technical demos.
The event will kick off tomorrow at 8AM PST with a keynote introducing the latest innovations in Visual Studio, .NET, Xamarin, Azure, and more. If this is too early for you, you’re still welcome to watch the following Q&A sessions and demos that will cover native Android, iOS, and Windows Development in C# with Xamarin, Azure Development in Visual Studio 2017 and more.
On Wednesday, March 8, get ready for a full-day of live interacting trainings covering mobile, desktop and web development with the latest IDE. All sessions will be live streamed on the dedicated website.
Hugo Gallegos speaks with Adi from Elita Group about the ElBraille docking station for the Focus Blue 14 and the ElBraille 40.
ElBraille is a portable device designed for users who are blind or deaf-blind and want to stay connected at school, at workplace or home as well as on the go. A user can utilize braille and/or speech for output and braille for the input. The device supports Windows 10 functionality, including third party applications accessible with JAWS. ElBraille has specially designed software installed on it as well. ElBraille is powered by Windows 10, JAWS 18.0 screen reading software and a Focus 14 Blue Braille display. ElBraille is a full-featured portable PC. It will allow its owner not only to quickly create notes and read e-mail, but also work in popular Microsoft Office apps,