The FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau has granted the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) request to extend the class waiver of the FCC’s accessibility rules to video game software through Jan. 31, 2017, but will require a progress report halfway through that waiver period.
We already use breathalyzers to detect alcohol levels, but We can now detect the presence of potentially deadly diseases.
Ancient Greek physicians figured that our breath was a strong health indicator, but researchers from the Israel Institute of Technology have proven just how true that is. They developed a device that uses nanoparticles to identify 17 different diseases, including lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease, from just a single breath. While the machine isn’t accurate enough yet for real-life clinical diagnoses, it shows high promise as a quick, non-invasive test that could catch diseases in their early stages
The team tested breath samples from more than 1,400 patients and identified 13 chemicals found in eight types of cancers, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, pulmonary hypertension, and other diseases. Each of those volatile organic compounds is present in varying amounts, forming a distinctive “fingerprint” for each ailment. “These odor signatures are what enables us to identify the diseases using the technology that we developed,” says research lead Prof. Hossam Haick.
To pick up the presence and ratio of the chemicals, the team built an “artificially intelligent nanoarray” called the Na-Nose. It uses specific sensors, like one made from gold nanoparticles and another that uses a network of carbon nanotubes, to sense the different compounds. The data is then analyzed by an artificial intelligence system, which considers age, gender, and other factors, picking out the right affliction 86 percent of the time.
For more information, watch this video.
In this Spotlight interview, James Oates sits down with Dr. Howard Kaplan, a retina surgeon, and the developer of Spotlight Text. Spotlight Text is an app that works with Bookshare to make eBooks accessible to the visually impaired. The app displays white text on a black background, and can make the text as large as a reader needs. It works only on iPads, but can also be airplayed to a TV screen by way of a dongle or an Apple TV. This allows for much larger text than can be provided with normal magnification software. The application also works with VoiceOver and braille displays, so that anyone with a visual impairment can use it. Working in cooperation with Bookshare, the app can access more than 450,000 books, and this number is constantly rising.
To ensure that students with visual impairments have access to printed materials, Dr. Kaplan has founded Spotlight Gateway, an organization that provides free access to his app, a free Bookshare membership, and a free iPad to those who are in financial need. Students need to be certified as having a visual impairment by a licensed Ophthalmologist, and they need to show that there is a financial need for the program.
You can try out a light version of the application to see if it works for you.
Want to clean your house, but don’t want to get up from your recliner? Well, now you don’t have to make that difficult decision. The Samsung Powerbot VR7000 can be controlled by voice commands with your Amazon Echo device. The company says that, in fact, all its Wi-Fi-enabled Powerbot vacuums will work with Alexa.
The 20 watt robo-vac is considerably smaller (28 percent) than past models, Samsung said, helping it more easily duck under couches or beds. It can also get as close as a half inch (15mm) to a wall and avoid objects as small as a quarter inch, thanks to the front placement of the wide 11-inch brush and “Full View Sensor 2.0.” Other features include a self-cleaning brush, room contour mapping, adjustable suction levels depending on the surface and full remote control with a smartphone (via Wi-Fi.
Samsung didn’t mention the price or availability, but it will show off the Powerbot VR7000 at CES 2017, which starts on Tuesday, January 03, 2017.
Microsoft Thailand last week organized a project to educate youth about computers and Information Technology to equip them with the knowledge and tools to fight human trafficking.
Augmented reality seems cool, unless you are blind. How can blind people function in an environment that is not there, and is only based on visual perception? Introducing Ultrahaptics, a technology that uses ultrasound to create perception based on touch, not vision. The French company, Immersion, is using Ultrahaptics in combination with Microsoft’s HoloLens to create an augmented reality with objects that are touchable. It is believed that it will be initially used in medical situations to reduce the unnecessary touching of equipment, to control kitchen appliances without spreading food born bacteria, and in automobiles, to allow drivers to access controls without having to reach for them and take their eyes off the road. Obviously, anyone with any sort of an imagination can think of countless ways in which this technology can be applied, but part of the restrictions will most likely be based on cost.
The app provides users a simple way to discover the benefits of Android accessible apps.
It’s called Osmo – a program that blends the physical and digital worlds.
Voice Access is an unreleased application, created by the Google accessibility team, that helps people with mobility issues use their voice to control their Android device. Because it is Beta software, it might not be entirely stable at this point. You can download the app here. Below is a description from the developer.