As an avid reader of spy-fiction, I’ve always considered DARPA to be that mysterious agency that creates all the cool toys for the James Bonds of the world. It turns out that the “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency” has had a hand in many technological items that we actually use on a daily basis. The internet, GPS, cloud computing and street-view maps like Google maps are just some of the cool things they have developed since their founding in 1958. Recently, they’ve started funding projects into some very Cool Tech that may have beneficial results for the blind.
Microsoft has developed a new indoor navigation system that does not rely on GPS positioning, Wi-Fi signals, or Bluetooth beacons. The app, available for Android devices, allows anyone to record a path from one point to another point and then upload it to the cloud. Other Path Guide users can then access that information and follow the path to reach their location. The app also allows the users to attach text, audio, and photos to the original path. For example, a person can show how to get from an entrance to an office. They can also include text instructions, audio instructions, and photos that can help identify points of interest. This information can also be posted on websites and sent by email.
This week Joel is joined by Leo and Nelson to discuss the latest happenings in Accessible Tech. The Cool Blind Tech team has some great fun discussing the news and how to keep cool in this summer heat. Make sure to download this latest episode or press play to listen along!
Not a month has gone by since We posted an article on Narrator including AI-driven image tags and Microsoft is back at it yet again, though with an older project which finally has made public fruition. Introduced at Build 2016, this project had a goal of bringing powerful image recognition technology which could be used to augment every day life, especially when combined with the power of the cloud.
Join Jessica Rickards for an exclusive spotlight interview with Idan Meir, co-founder and CEO of Right-Hear, an Israel-based company focused on providing an auditory indoor navigation solution to the blind and visually impaired. Right-Hear is a free iOS app and is also available free on the Google Play Store. Users are able to obtain information about an area through Accessible Spots installed by the individual businesses.
Rachel chats with Dan Gardner, CEO of ViewPlus Technologies. For the past 18 years ViewPlus have been giving people access to information through innovative products that change lives every day.
The ultimate online clearance sale day of the year is here, Amazon Prime Day 2017. True many of the deals found here are for things you could do without, everyday items or clearance products, but for those who enjoy a good coupon hunt just for the sake of it, this is the ultimate flash sale. This year, there are some interesting features Amazon is making available to Alexa users.
I don’t think I will ever stop being amazed by what I can do from my computer. I can research just about any project I desire, enjoy countless arts and communicate to the world if I so desire. But, what would I do if someday computers became inaccessible to me? In my case, I’d probably protest in front of my nearest congressmen and hope that something changes quickly before I miss the next episode of the Big Bang Theory.
Dictate is an Office add-in that allows the user to convert speech to text while working in Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Unlike Microsoft’s Speech Recognition software, Dictate uses Cortana’s powerful speech recognition engine to carry out nearly flawless dictation.
You can download the add-in here. Once installed, open Word, PowerPoint, or Outlook. Next, press alt+D and then the letter S to start dictation. You can say “Stop Dictation”, to end the session.
You do have the option of dictating punctuation yourself, or letting Dictation do it for you. While in the Dictation tab on the Ribbon, choose either manual or automatic punctuation levels.
I have been waiting for this addition to Microsoft Office for a while. Cortana has amazing speech recognition, and I have always wanted the ability to have that type of recognition while dictating in Microsoft Office. I took it for a trial run in Microsoft Word, and it performed perfectly.