Joel Ramos visits with Alex Lee of Dot Incorporated to get a good look at the new Dot braille smart watch. This gadget has caught a great deal of attention because it brings new possibilities and benefits of the networked digital age to the wrists of millions of Blind & Visually Impaired people worldwide.
There are so many apps and devices that can help a blind person navigate, but most of them require that you listen for auditory feedback. Many people, myself included, feel that method distracts them from observing and interacting with their surroundings. It is difficult to listen for cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians while listening to your audio navigation device. It is also difficult to participate in a conversation with a companion while your phone is constantly telling you where you are, and where to go.
WearWorks has developed a haptic wristband that pairs with your phone and uses information from Google Maps to help guide you. You must first tell Google Maps where you are going, and then the wristband will buzz if you are going the wrong way, provide gentle haptic nudges if you need to go left or right, and give no feedback if you are headed in the correct direction.
The device is currently in development, and should be available in 2018.
In this CBT Spotlight interview, James Oates sits down with Suman Kanuganti, the cofounder and CEO of Aira Visual Interpreter for the Blind, to discuss a life changing new service for those who are blind or visually impaired.
Aira takes advantage of the technology found in advanced smart glasses, like Google Glass, to connect blind people with sighted agents who can use the information transmitted by those glasses to help them with anything that might require visual feedback. That could be anything the user would like an extra pair of eyes for.
Smart glasses not only have a camera that transmits visual information to the agent, but also other sensors that send detailed information to the agent’s dashboard, such as GPS information that is incorporated into Google Maps.
For now, the glasses will need to be paired with a smart phone, but you should listen to this podcast to hear all the spectacular improvements that Suman is planning.
You can visit their website, email Aira, or email Suman directly for more information. You can also call Aira at: (858) 876-2472.
Amazon recently introduced the ability to activate Alexa’s Always Listening Feature on the Tap. This podcast shows you how to activate this feature, mute and unmute the mic, and conserve power by putting the Tap in sleep mode.
Virtual reality has strived to take advantage of 360° video technology, but Nokia believes that 3D audio must also be a part of the experience to make it feel as real as possible. That is why Nokia developed their OZO Audio technology to work with their OZO camera which can not only create 3D images, but thanks to the audio software and 8 built in microphones, it can also record 3D audio.
But wait, you don’t need to run out and buy a OZO camera. Nokia is now offering their OZO Audio technology to anyone who has a camera or smart phone with at least two microphones. The microphones don’t have to be built in to the device. They can be add-ons. Nokia says that the software works best with three or four microphones.
For people who are blind, this is important because, for us, 3D audio is our version of virtual reality.
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Join Joel, Jessica and Cool Blind Tech’s newest team member Rachel as they discuss their Cool Picks.
Each year, Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona Spain, and it is dominated by the announcement of new phones. However, there are also many other devices that are announced as well, and this year a new universal translator ear-piece is one that stands out.
Waverly Labs has developed wireless earbuds that come in black, white, or red. Much like Air pods, they are independently wireless, and are charged in a separate case. You can use these wireless earbuds in the normal way, but if you also download the Waverly app, the ear-pieces will translate foreign languages. If you are speaking English, and the other person needs to hear Spanish, the app will display your words in Spanish on their phone, and a Text to Speech synthesizer will speak the words in their ear. The reverse is true when they speak to you. The ear-pieces currently run $249 on pre-order, and $299 once they are publicly released. You do not need an ear-piece to hear the translation, but it is much better than hearing it over your phones external speaker. Currently, the app supports English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
KNFB Reader has been a household name in text recognition for quite some time now, at least within the community. The original dreams of the Kurzweil solutions was to make KNFB affordable, even though back then it was still exclusively on Nokia phones.