Odds are, you might have tried VR. But maybe you’re not as familiar with “augmented reality” or “mixed reality” headsets that blend virtual things into actual reality, like Microsoft’s HoloLens does. That could change once more affordable phone accessories start to arrive. Occipital Bridge is an iPhone headset that does all of these, and it’ll cost $399 when it arrives next March, or $499 for an early “Explorer Edition” shipping this month.
Actions on Google is now available for developers to creates skills, conversations, and bots for their apps to be integrated into Google Assistant. Google Assistant is the personal assistant that works with Google devices. It is like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. It is currently part of Google Home, which is a standalone device like Amazon’s Echo device, and the Google Pixel, which is Google’s newest flagship phone. The Actions SDK is currently only available for Google Home, but it will open to the Google Pixel and Allo soon.
This past summer, Pokemon Go generated a mobile gaming craze, and now the excitement is building once again as Nintendo has announced a launch date for Super Mario Run which will be available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. You can download the game from the App Store on December 15. An android version will be released in 2017. The app is free to download, but only the first four levels are free. After that, you will need to pay $9.99 to unlock the remaining levels. Many blind and visually impaired gamers have had a great deal of success playing Nintendo games by using sound to navigate the game environment. Hopefully, Super Mario Run will be a game that the blind can play.
At its WWDC event back in June, Apple promised a new feature called Single Sign-On. This feature allows users to authenticate their cable or satellite subscription with just one entry instead of having to authenticate it each time they add a new app to their device. Unfortunately, there was a delay in rolling out this feature, and it was not a part of iOS 10 back in September. It is now available, but it is still only available for a very small list of providers. More providers will be added over time. To access this feature: on Apple TV; Go to Settings/Accounts/TV Provider/Sign-In; On iPhone or iPad; Go to Settings/TV Provider. There is where you will see if your provider is listed. Here is the current list of available providers.
CAPTCHA stands for (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart). In its most common usage, CAPTCHA requires a user to answer a question or enter text that is displayed on the screen. Often the text is not accessible to the visually impaired, and even people who can see can find it difficult to determine the text that needs to be entered.
Google has developed a system called, Invisible ReCAPTCHA, that uses an algorithm to determine whether you are a computer or a human without any input from the user. For many visually impaired users, a CAPTCHA can bring a halt to them proceeding any further on that website; therefore, this solution will not only make life convenient for sighted users, but it will open many websites to the visually impaired that were previously inaccessible.
Just launched yesterday and once installed, you can assign “trusted” status to one or as many of your contacts as you like. Once you do, that person can add you back to share their location with you as well, or to request your location at any time. Then, if they request your location, you have the option to share it or decline, but if you do nothing, your location is automatically shared with them after five minutes. The goal here is to give your loved ones or emergency contacts the ability to find out where you are even if you’re incapacitated or unable to get to or use your phone.
The arcade opened last Saturday, marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Krishna Teja, the co-founder of a company that works with children between Class V and Class IX to encourage design innovations worked with children from schools across India on various design workshops. For this project he got school children from the city to help create these games for the blind.
It resulted in 14 specially-designed games, which were put up at a multipurpose hall of a school, transforming it into the world’s first arcade for the blind. And as the children from Devnar School for the blind arrived, the hall filled with smiles, excitement and laughter. The arcade was also open for parents and other students, but on one condition; they had to enter the arcade blindfolded.
The International Space Station is an amazing place for humans to experience the next frontier in exploration, but there are many dangers for those brave explorers. Obviously being hurled into a vacuum beyond Earth’s atmosphere at high velocity is very dangerous, but there are other dangers for those who stay in space for extended missions of six months to a year.
Extended missions cause a loss in bone density, muscular atrophy, and vision loss. The back of the eye is flattened and the optic nerve becomes inflamed. The structural changes are often permanent, and the astronauts experience blurred vision for the remainder of their lives. Per Noam Alperin of the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, the changes are due to an increase in cerebral fluid density which puts pressure on the eyes and the brain. His research can be viewed here.
NASA will attempt to simulate long term space conditions to find a way of preventing the physical harm that is currently befalling their astronauts.
An upcoming feature for the Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint apps will automatically suggest image and slide deck captions, called alt-text, using AI algorithms. When those files are presented to blind users, computer tools designed to translate the information onscreen into audio will have text descriptions to work with.
Researchers at Palo Alto Network’s Unit 42 threat intelligence team spotted a new Google Android trojan named “PluginPhantom” which leverages the Android DroidPlugin technology to steal user information.