When reporting on an event like the annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, it’s tempting to try to sum it up with a single narrative. This is my third year covering the trade show portion of CSUN. In addition to asking questions for AccessWorld, I was part of the Blind Bargains podcast team You’ll find links to some of our interviews at the link below.
A couple of years ago, Jamie Pauls wrote that CSUN and other accessibility-focused trade shows inaugurated the year of Braille. This year, a number of the products announced in 2016 are available to purchase, some have even been updated, and a few still aren’t available at all. Most of these items exemplify important improvements in function, price, or both.
CSUN 2018 Heralds The Year of Wearables–Unless It Doesn’t full article
February 11, 2018·4:55 PM ET
Seventeen Broadway theaters are now using technology that allows deaf and hearing-impaired patrons to see closed captions on their smartphones. Unlike the white smartphone background seen here, the GalaPro app screen is dark.
Jerry Bergman is sitting in the audience at a Broadway matinée performance of The Band’s Visit. Despite the fact that a huge sign above the stage tells the audience in English, Hebrew and Arabic to turn off cellphones, Bergman is keeping his on so he can read closed captions while watching the show.
It’s OK To Look At Your Phone At A Broadway Show, If Your Hearing Is Impaired full article
by Industry Update
An Australian startup programme is aiming to tackle lifestyle problems caused by fine motor control issues, an ever-pervasive ailment that dramatically impacts quality-of-life.
Their solution is a hand controller designed to help people with dexterity issues perform daily household functions: the i-boll.
The i-boll, roughly the size of a junior soccer ball, links to a smartphone app to connect with other devices and uses the smartphone’s built-in accelerometer to track movement.
The wireless device is operated with two hands and aims to help people living with cerebral palsy, arthritis, those recovering from a stroke and the elderly to operate smart devices and household appliances.
A Delicate Approach to Restoring Control full article
Portable reading device developed by students at UAE University in Al Ain can translate written material into Braille Sami Zaatari,
Gulf News, Sept. 8, 2017
Abu Dhabi: An innovative student-led project at the UAE University in Al Ain is hoping to make reading easier for visually impaired people by developing a pocket-sized portable device that can translate reading materials into Braille.
The device, which is still in its prototype stage, has a built-in camera that can be used to take photos of any type of reading material, which is then converted into Braille, allowing a visually impaired person to read at any time they want.
UAE Students Invent Photo-to-Braille Translator; To Make Reading Easier for Visually Impaired full article
At the AccessWorld Tech Summit in March 2017, part of the American Foundation for the Blind’s annual Leadership Conference, I was so excited while listening to a presentation from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about accessible devices including cable boxes. I figured I could call my cable company when I got home and get an accessible cable box. I was wrong.
FCC Regulations Summary for Accessible Cable Boxes
The FCC conference presenters were Suzy Rosen Singleton, Chief, and Will Schell, Attorney-Advisor, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. They focused on access to video description.
Obtaining Accessible Cable Television: A Frustrating Experience full article
03.07.17 – Summer series students works:
Alexandre Foucqueteau has taught Cellulo, a little hand-sized robot, how to help visually impaired children find their bearings and avoid obstacles in the classroom.
For his semester project, Alexandre Foucqueteau came up with a new application for a little multifunctional robot called Cellulo. Created at EPFL two years ago in a collaboration between the Computer-Human Interaction Lab for Learning & Instrution (CHILI) and the Robotic Systems Laboratory (LSRO) with the support of NCCR Robotics, the robot can now help visually impaired children get around their classroom. The child moves the little robot around a map of the room. When the robot bumps virtually into something, such as a table or the teacher’s desk, it can recognize the object. That may sound like a piece of cake, but getting a tablet to interact with the robot and recognize the objects was actually quite complex.
A Robot to Help Visually Impaired Schoolchildren Find Their Way full article
The app uses AI to recognize people, objects, and scenes
by James Vincent@jjvincent
Jul 12, 2017
Microsoft has released Seeing AI a smartphone app that uses computer vision to describe the world for the visually impaired. With the app downloaded, the users can point their phone’s camera at a person and it’ll say who they are and how they’re feeling. They can also point it at a product and it’ll tell them what it is. All of this is done using artificial intelligence that runs locally on their phone.
Microsoft’s New iPhone App Narrates the World for Blind People full article
By Liezel Labios, UC San Diego
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
“The Language of Glove”: a smart glove that wirelessly translates the American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet into text and controls a virtual hand to mimic ASL gestures.
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a smart glove that wirelessly translates the American Sign Language alphabet into text and controls a virtual hand to mimic sign language gestures. The device, which engineers call “The Language of Glove,” was built for less than $100 using stretchable and printable electronics that are inexpensive, commercially available and easy to assemble. The work was published on July 12 in the journal PLOS ONE.
Low-Cost Smart Glove Translates American Sign Language Alphabet full article
A new iPhone app uses machine learning to identify objects for people with poor eyesight, and it doesn’t need an Internet connection. by Rachel Metz
Originally posted March 25, 2016
As I walked around my office on a recent morning, a female voice on my iPhone narrated the objects I passed. “Brick,” “wall,” “telephone,” she said matter-of-factly. The voice paused when I came upon a bike hung on a wall-mounted rack, then intoned, “bicycle.”
App Spots Objects for the Visually Impaired full article
By Ile, April 24, 2017
Discovery and recollection.
Discovery and recollection are two necessary elements for travel for our friends who are blind. This presents a difficult task in a city the size of Boston, with its nearly 8,000 bus stops.
It is necessary for all to move from point A to point B, whether home to work, work to play or home to “the necessaries” such as groceries, doctors’ offices, visiting friends or journeys to study. Public transit is a wonderful and beneficial asset. The physical movement of vehicles, coupled with information to support choices for travel, is an important service to the community at large. Still, for a person who is blind, partially-sighted or deafblind the “last few feet” can be a great void.
BlindSquare and BlindWays, Connecting the Dots for Travelers in Boston, Then and Now. full article
Technology continues to improve the way people who are blind interact with technology and make use of the Internet. In any major screen reader release, improvements to the way the product works on the Web are front and center in all “What’s New” documentation. Furthermore, modern software applications make use of, and behave like, webpages to such an extent that it can often be difficult to know where a desktop application ends and the Internet begins.
CAPTCHA Be Gone from Accessible Apps Removes Another Barrier to Accessibility full article
Numotion announces exclusive U.S. distribution of Tek RMD from Matia Robotics BRENTWOOD, Tenn., March 1, 2017
Numotion, the nation’s leading provider of complex rehab technology (CRT), has announced the availability of Tek RMD (“robotic mobilization device”) by Matia Robotics in the United States.
Tek RMD is a motorized standing movement device that offers the ability for those who are in a manual wheelchair to complete everyday activities from a standing position. Unlike other standers, users can board and control a Tek RMD unassisted. Numotion is the exclusive distributor of the product in the U.S.
New Robotics Technology Brings Standing and Mobility to Wheelchair Users full article
For Immediate Release
AUSTIN, Texas (February 17, 2017)
Ottobock announced the release of the Pheon and Prosedo mechanical prosthetic knees aimed at providing mobility and stability for less active amputees.
The Pheon polycentric knee joint is an ideal choice to help less active lower limb amputees restore their ability to stand and walk both indoors and in limited community settings. With the integrated optional lock, which can be activated or deactivated by the prosthetist, the Pheon also provides targeted support for the post-amputation therapy process from initial walking exercises to the final fitting.
Pheon and Prosedo Mechanical Prosthetic Knees Provide Mobility and Stability for Less Active Amputees full article
Handy helper: The prosthetic hand from BrainRobotics, controlled by signals sent from the residual muscles on an amputee’s limb, a process that involves some machine learning technology, on display at the 2017 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP
LAS VEGAS: Emerging technology is giving new hope for the handicapped, and harnessing brainwaves for the physically disabled and helping the visually impaired with “artificial vision” are just the start.
Many systems showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are aimed at improving quality of life for people with disabilities.
BrainRobotics, a Massachusetts-based startup, showed its prosthesis that can be controlled by residual muscle strength of an amputee with better efficiency than similar devices, according to developers.
CES 2017: Emerging Tech Aims to Improve Life for Handicapped full article
Date:October 17, 2016 Source:American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
A unique wearable artificial vision device may help people who are legally blind “read” and recognize faces. It may also help these individuals accomplish everyday tasks with significantly greater ease than using traditional assistive reading devices, suggests a study presented today at AAO 2016, the 120th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Approximately 246 million people worldwide have low vision. This sight loss impairs a person’s ability to do simple daily tasks. Optical and electronic devices such as hand-held magnifiers, tele-microscopic glasses and computer and video magnifiers can help. But, typically these devices are bulky, cumbersome or not readily portable. With recent advancements in wearable electronic devices and optical character recognition technology that converts images to computer-readable text, University of California, Davis researchers hypothesized that these newer technologies could help improve patients’ ability to function in daily life.
Wearable Artificial Vision Device Shows Promise in Helping People Who Are Legally Blind ‘Read’ full article
Spouses, parents and others also enjoy the charming robot
PR Newswire, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH.July 12, 2016
The simple act of eating a meal will become more dignified and enjoyable for many people with physical challenges with the launch of Obi, a revolutionary robotic dining device.
Obi blends cutting-edge robotics, elegant design, intuitive controls and a friendly personality to give individuals who are fed by others the ability to take control of their meals at home and in public.
We believe dining is one of lifes greatest pleasures that absolutely everyone should enjoy, said Jon Dekar, DES?Ns co-founder. What our device stands for is equally as important as what it does. It represents our belief that living with physical challenges can be fulfilling and inspiring. Technology, and specifically robotics, combined with modern design, should facilitate that.
New Obi™ Robotic Dining Device a Breakthrough for People Living with Physical Challenges full article
Aug 15, 2016
G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies announced the publication of a new book authored by Debra Ruh, G3ict’s EmployAbility Program Chair.
In this book, Tapping into Hidden Human Capital: How Leading Global Companies Improve their Bottom Line by Employing Persons with Disabilities,” Debra Ruh presents a new, game-changing perspective about the employment of persons with disabilities. By documenting existing practices of some of the largest companies in the world, the author shows that employees with disabilities are proactively recruited for their positive contributions to the competitiveness and financial performance of major businesses.
New Book Released: Tapping Into Hidden Human Capital: How Leading Global Companies Improve their Bottom Line by Employing Persons with Disabilities full article
Have you been looking for effective women’s vitamins and been unable to find just the right product line? Good news!
Vitanica is a line of women’s vitamins with just one purpose in mindnatural health care for women.
This company is committed to serving women by combining education, research and the best quality possible in completely effective nutritional supplements. This company is particularly noted for its attention to detail and quick response to needs within the area of women’s health. Also, the friendly, personalized customer service representatives are seldom matched in quality elsewhere.
Searching for and Finding the Right Women’s Health Products Can be a Challenge, but Here is the Answer! full article
MARKHAM, Monday 4th July, 2016
Since its inception, Pharmaceutical Innovation Ltd. has developed notable, original products that consumers need for accessible medication and healthcare management. With the launch of its latest product offering, the new application called Health Espresso, Pharmaceutical Innovation continues to fulfill its mandate of making pharmaceutical technology accessible to everyone.
Health Espresso is a Bluetooth-enabled app that acts as a virtual caregiver through innovative technology. The primary user, typically an elderly or disabled individual, wears a Bluetooth enabled medical data collection device such as a heart rate or blood pressure monitor that provides body readings in real time and stores the readings, along with other medical information, on a secure network. A secondary user, either a family member or doctor, is connected to the data from the app at all times allowing the secondary user to oversee, manage and intervene if necessary.
PHARMACEUTICAL INNOVATION LTD. EXTENDS PRODUCT LINE OFFERING WITH NEW APPLICATION, HEALTH ESPRESSO full article
AL BEACH, California, June 21, 2016, PRNewswire
NuEyes, a pioneer in the field of low vision technology, and mac-fusion, Orange County’s Premier Apple Authorized Reseller and Service Provider, are proud to announce an exclusive partnership to bring NuEyes wireless, a wearable CCTV headset, to visually impaired users across Southern California.
Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160620/381552
NuEyes, featuring ODG smartglasses, magnifies (up to 12x) and displays enhanced versions of anything that a user looks at.
mac-fusion and NuEye’s shared dream for this partnership is to give people with vision loss in Orange County access to wireless hand-free magnification technology that can be used anywhere to increase their mobility, independence and quality of life.
NuEyes, the Newest Head-Mounted and Hands-Free Wearable Technology, Makes CCTV and Text-to-Speech Capabilities Available in an Easy-to-Use Headset full article