What is your deepest darkest secret? Listen in as we open the doors to the VIP room with one of your favourite host Joel Ramos, as he opens up to his fellow hosts Jessica Rickards and newcomer Gabriel Vega, CEO of Commtech.
VizLens helps the blind operate appliances with digital screens and unlabeled buttons
Think about the number of electronic appliances you encounter on a daily basis – using a microwave, adjusting the thermostat in your home, or buying a snack from the office vending machine. Now, imagine trying to operate any of these if you were blind. Impossible? Anhong Guo, Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), is turning this into a reality with the development of an interactive screen reader called VizLens.
Windows 10 build 15025 brings braille support for Narrator
Microsoft is excited to announce braille support for Narrator. This experience is currently in beta. So try it out and give feedback! In order to use braille with Narrator, you will need to do the following:
- • Ensure Narrator is running. Then go to Settings > Ease of Access (WIN + U) and under the Narrator settings, activate the “Download Braille” button. You will be prompted to install braille support.
• Under Settings > Ease of Access, activate the “Enable braille” button and add a braille display. Note that USB and serial connections for the display are supported.
• Under Settings > Ease of Access, choose the language and braille table you want to use.
Note detailed documentation about braille display key mappings will be made available in the Narrator User Guide closer to when the Windows 10 Creators Update is released.
There are coexistence issues with braille support and third party screen readers. Until the documentation is available, we recommend that braille be enabled for Narrator only on PCs that do not also have a third-party screen reader configured to use a braille display.
New mono audio option in Ease of Access settings
Visually impaired users use a screen reader application to read the PC screen content and information to them, and frequently use headphones or earbuds to hear the computer when in meetings or having conversations with others. When doing so, they generally use only one earbud to hear the PC in one ear so the other ear is free to hear conversations and sounds around them. That can cause them to not hear sounds that may be directed to the other earbud. In order to change the sound to be mono mode and so all audio is directed to both ears, they used to need a physical earphone adapter.
You can now switch your audio to mono straight from the new Audio section under Settings > Ease of Access > Other options.
A new startup, Innovision, has recognized to problem that exists for those who are blind
Although voice feedback is convenient, and it opens many opportunities, it doesn’t promote literacy. Blind people need access to braille material, and current pricing on braille displays keeps most people from being able to access the printed word, especially in developing countries.
Innovision has created the BrailleMe, which is a simple braille display that plugs directly into your phone or computer. It also has Bluetooth capabilities.
MediGuard provides you with easy to understand health information, safety alerts & recalls and drug interactions.
Office Lens is like having a scanner in your pocket. Like magic, it will digitize notes on whiteboards or blackboards. Always find important documents or business cards. Sketch your ideas and snap a picture for later. Don’t lose receipts or stray sticky notes again!