Allison interviews Ken Perry from American Printing House for the Blind about their new accessible calculators. APH makes the Orion TI-30XS MultiView Talking Scientific Calculator and the Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator, both based on the familiar TI calculator designs. Both calculators announce each key in clear, high-quality speech, giving access to all menus, mathematical expressions, text, and symbols displayed on the screen. The graphing calculator allows the user to explore graphs using “sonograph” audio and haptic feedback. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
Allison interviews Michael Hingson from Aira about their visual interpreter system that helps people without vision. Aira consists of smart glasses with a camera, an app on an iPhone and a MiFi connection to provide good WiFi capability. The app is used to call specially trained agents who can see what the user “sees” through the smart glasses. The user asks the agent about their visual surroundings and in real time the agent provides the requested information. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
Allison interviews Frank Jones and Yvonne Felix from eSight about their new eSight 3 glasses composed of a wearable headmounted display and camera system that allows people with certain types of low vision to see better. The camera processes imagery, enhances it and displays the image on the inside of the glasses in a manner that is easier for the vision impaired user to see. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
Allison interviews Meesa Maeng from BrainPort about their extremely innovative V100 system that allows the user to “see” using their tongue. The V100 uses a sensory substitution device that allows the blind to use their tongue to feel the object they are looking at. The scene is captured by a special set of glasses with a camera worn by the user that processes and sends the image to the tongue sensor. With some training, the brain learns to interpret these impulses sensed by the tongue as a visual scene. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
Allison interviews Ellen Witham from Tobii Dynavox about their tools to help people with speech and language impairment. The first tool is the Compass software iPad app that works in conjunction with written material to help the user learn and speak their first 12 words. Tobii Dynavox also provides a ruggedized tablet with similar functionality as the Compass software but also can be controlled by the users’ eye movement. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
Allison interviews Trevor Settles from Tap Systems about their innovative wearable keyboard. Tap is a bluetooth, one-handed “keyboard” that allows the user to type out characters on any surface with combinations of finger/thumb presses on the surface. Tap works with any bluetooth enabled desktop or mobile OS that supports the HID Keyboard Standard. This includes iOS and Android phones and tablets, Windows and Mac computers, and most Smart TVs. The Tap keyboard will be available for purchase around August of 2017. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
Allison interviews Duane Tsutsui and Terry Byland from Second Sight about their new Argus II prosthetic eye system. Argus II provides artificial vision for those with who have lost vision due to Retinitis Pigmentosa and requires the user to have functional photoreceptors and optic nerve. The Argus II system is composed of 1) a visual sensor surgically implanted into the eye in front of the retina, 2) a special pair of glasses that provides power to the implant and wirelessly receives its signals, and 3) a portable video processor unit. Argus II currently provides 58 electrodes of resolution on the retina with a 20 deg field of view, both of which will improve over time. Later versions of the device will also provide artificial vision for those without functional photoreceptors or an optic nerve. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
This week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond is a fantastic blend of technology, physiology and ingenuity to solve a very common problem. We’re joined by Terry Austin, a professor of Anatomy & Physiology and microbiology at Temple College in the Texas Hill Country. He turned his research background in neuroscience and his love of technology toward a solution for a very personal problem to be solved.
Terry has some hearing loss, but not bad enough (in his estimation) to warrant hearing aids. He went on a hunt for an app to help. He found Hearing Aid Plus from hearingaidproapp.com for iOS.
I don’t want to steal his entire story, but in this episode he tells us how his knowledge of physiology combined with the mad skills of developer Gábor Száanto may have come up with a breakthrough solution for those with non-cochlear hearing loss.
Allison interviews Cynthia Heryanto from PRC about their devices that help people with speech impairment communicate. PRC’s AAC solutions offer advanced functionality and user-friendly features, making communication fast and easy. PRC provides four Accent tablet devices that are ideal for users of all ages. Accent devices are compatible with all PRC language systems and can accommodate multiple access methods. The setting is the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference show floor.
I explain how I pulled off the live show with no voice last week using Loopback and Audio Hijack from Rogue Amoeba. Next we’ll hear an interview about a telephone for those with some hearing loss that will provides real time captioning. I’ll tell you whether you should get a big or a small iPad, and then we’ll finish with a fascinating interview about Touch Graphics for Universal Access.