USA: Microsoft Unveils Cortana Virtual Assistant for Windows Phone
The voice-controlled app, named Cortana, uses both the firm's search engine Bing and data stored on the handsets to make personalized recommendations and carry out tasks. Apple and Google already offer comparable facilities on their iOS and Android platforms. But one artificial intelligence expert said Microsoft's decision to wait until now to launch could prove wise.
From http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26855113, April 02, 2014
Three New Samsung Smartphone Accessories Show the Universal Appeal of Accessibility
Accessibility is increasingly a mainstream issue, as companies, developers and consumers recognize that accessibility is about giving all people, including people with disabilities, new tools and ways to interact with the world. Samsung is one of the latest to expand the universe of accessibility by creating three new products for its Galaxy Core Advance smartphone, according to a new story. The new Optical Scan Stand starts a program that reads text placed in front of the smartphone out loud, Engadget reports. With new Voice Labels, users can record audio notes about devices in their homes, the story adds.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/04/01/three-new-samsung-smartphone-accessories-show-the-universal-appeal-of-accessibility.aspx, April 01, 2014
Power of Technology is Expanding the Use of Memory-Assisting Tools
The following blog post was written by Erin Beneteau, a senior learning and development strategist for accessibility at Microsoft. Apps that help me manage my daily life can also assist people with memory impairments. The key is to ensure these apps have interfaces that are easy to use, navigate, and access. Then these apps can truly change lives.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/03/13/the-power-of-technology-is-expanding-the-use-of-memory-assisting-tools.aspx, March 31, 2014
S.C. Charters Agree to Accessibility Changes After Federal Investigation
The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights has entered into an agreement with the South Carolina Public Charter District to make the district's Internet-based schools accessible to students and parents with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairments.
From http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2014/03/sc_charters_agree_to_accessibi.html, March 26, 2014
Demand Jumps for Mobile Biometrics in Consumer Electronics
Based on the findings of a new report from a leading global research firm, the global mobile biometrics market is exploding, with a CAGR of 156% from 2014-2018. Curiously, TechNavio reports that there are a few significant factors behind this projected growth, but use of mobile devices for financial transactions and the related demand for increased security is one of the most significant market trends.
From http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/demand-jumps-for-mobile-biometrics-in-consumer-electronics-40405/, March 26, 2014
Google Reveals Android Wear, Operating System for Smartwatches
Google is officially getting into wearables. The company has announced Android Wear, a version of the operating system designed specifically for wearable devices. To start with, the system is made for smartwatches, and Google is moving aggressively to make itself the key name in wearables.
From http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/18/5522226/google-reveals-android-wear-an-operating-system-designed-for, March 26, 2014
How Enterprises Can Plan For Wearables
By now, everyone from techies to gamers to athletes have heard that wearables are "the next big thing." CIOs need to stay ahead of the wave by staking a claim in the wearables ecosystem through apps and always be asking: What do employees and customers need from wearables?
From http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/mobile-applications/how-enterprises-can-plan-for-wearables/d/d-id/1127827?piddl_msgid=205045#msg_205045, March 26, 2014
New Generation of Tech Innovations Aims to Help Elders Stay Healthy and Connected
Most of us think of start-up companies as primarily focused on younger customers for their business, but some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs see opportunities with a very different demographic. They are designing innovative products for seniors and their caregivers.
From http://www.netnebraska.org/node/906845, March 25, 2014
Watson Mobile Challenge to Usher in New Era of Development
In February at Mobile World Congress, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty launched the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a first of its kind, global competition to encourage software developers to create mobile consumer and business apps powered by Watson. The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge encourages the millions of mobile developers around the world to build sophisticated cognitive apps that can change the way consumers and businesses interact with data using mobile devices. For more insight on the challenge and app development trends in general, the Smarter Planet blog turned to Matt Gross, founder of Mobile Monday Boston, a community of nearly 8,000 professionals interested in mobile, and Mobile First Software, a mobile strategy consultancy.
From http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2014/03/watson-mobile-challenge-help-usher-new-era-development.html, March 25, 2014
USA: Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media – The User Experience
The National Council on Disability (NCD) and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) want to hear from you! You are invited to participate in a national online dialogue running through April 4 that aims to explore the value of social media in the lives of people with disabilities, particularly around work, and to identify accessibility issues and creative approaches to making social media tools more accessible and usable for everyone. The information gathered from this dialogue will then help NCD and ODEP further collaborate with the social media industry to implement solutions and improve the accessibility of these online tools.
From http://NCD-ODEP.SocialMedia.ePolicyWorks.org, March 25, 2014