What is Assistive Technology? Q&A With Shilpi Kapoor, BarrierBreak Technologies
Assistive technology includes special hardware, software and devices, that can help break the barriers that people, especially those with cognitive disabilities face. We can use communications devices to speak to them and interact with them at the press of a button. Even in the case of the blind, technology can be of tremendous help. Visually challenged people can use screen readers that can read out what they are typing. They can also “read” a book, by scanning it, OCR-ing it and having the words spoken out to them.
From http://www.microsoft.com/india/msindia/perspective/q-and-a-with-shilpi-kapoor.aspx, January 10, 2014
Microsoft Will Help Launch a New Association for Accessibility Professionals
Last month, I joined the founding members of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) in a meeting where we discussed the next steps to create an association and transform accessibility into a globally recognized and respected profession. In March, we will take one of our biggest steps by formally launching the Association. So far, accessibility has developed at a grassroots level, hindered by an inconsistent approach to training as well as the absence of certifications and an established career path for engineers to follow from higher education into the workplace.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2013/12/17/microsoft-will-help-launch-a-new-association-for-accessibility-professionals.aspx, January 10, 2014
From BYOD to WYOD: How Wearables Will Transform Business
Over the past few years, organizations worldwide were forced to deal with an IT “problem” referred to as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). It started with smart phones, and now it’s occurring with other devices as well.
From http://linkd.in/L7p6tX, January 10, 2014
White Cane for the Blind Reinvented as a Vibrating App
Smartphones and tablets might seem like technology that’s out of reach from blind and visually-impaired people, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is a plethora of apps available to help the visually-impaired access information, the latest of which acts like a cane to offer navigational assistance without any form of audio distraction, or the need for GPS.
From www.psfk.com/2014/01/blind-white-cane-vibrating-app.html, January 09, 2014
Gesture Ring Gives People Hands-Free Control Over Their iPhones
The iRing, which was unveiled at CES 2014, is a double-sided ring that functions as a motion controller for music apps on iOS devices. Created by IK Multimedia, the iRing uses the front-facing camera of an iOS device and advanced motion detection and positioning technology to translate hand gestures into commands to perform specific tasks on the device without having to touch the device at all.
From http://www.psfk.com/2014/01/gesture-ring-phone-control.html, January 09, 2014
USA: Senators Advocate for Closed Captioning in Online Video Clips
In response to a decision by the FCC to reconsider the exemption of IP delivered video clips from captioning rules, Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ark) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) wrote a letter to the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to express their support in reconsideration of the matter. As authors of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), the Senators expressed that their original intent in drafting the legislation was to ensure that all video clips, regardless of length, include captioning when delivered via IP. In their letter, the Senators also highlight that the majority of current video clips do not include captions, “including 77% of news video clips.” The letter concludes by urging the FCC to reconsider the captioning rules noting, “We hope that the FCC takes this opportunity to resolve this issue and ensure millions of people who are deaf and hard of hearing are not shut out from important online programming.”
From http://www.markey.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=349156, January 09, 2014
USA: FCC Annoucned Public Input Deadlines on Accessibility of User Interfaces
The FCC issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in the Matter of Accessibility of User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus; Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 [MB Docket No. 12-108, 12-107].
From http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-20/pdf/2013-28088.pdf, January 09, 2014
Research Shows People are More Open to Adopting Wearable Technology Devices
Smart glasses, smartwatches, and other wearable tech gadgets are ekeing out more interest among consumers. A hefty 52 percent of people recently polled by the NPD Group said they're aware of wearable technology devices. And among those, a third said they're likely to buy one. The smartwatch proved to be the most well-known type of wearable gadget with 36 percent of people familiar with them. But given the limited number of such devices on the market, only 23 percent said they'd be likely to buy one. Making and receiving phone calls was cited as the top reason for getting a smartwatch, followed by listening to music and tracking your fitness.
From http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57616784-94/people-growing-more-hip-to-wearables-npd-study-finds/, January 08, 2014
Google-Led Coalition Aims to Drive Android Into Cars
In partnership with Nvidia and several automakers, Google on Monday announced the creation of the Open Automotive Alliance, an effort designed to further its push into the automobile industry.
Audi, General Motors, Honda and Hyundai are among the effort's partners on the automotive side. The alliance will create a common platform members can use to create Android-enabled vehicles, the first of which are scheduled to hit the market later this year. The platform will "bring Google Places, Maps, Voice, Earth and developer support to cars," Roger Lanctot, an associate research director at Strategy Analytics, told the E-Commerce Times -- "just about anything users have on their phones, except for games."
From http://www.technewsworld.com/story/79731.html, January 08, 2014
Activity Monitors Tipped to Flood Market with Several Devices Launched at CES
One of the biggest trends unveiled this week at the world's largest technology show is about tracking the action that is powered by people rather than computers. Industry research predicts US sales of activity trackers will top $1 billion this year and could reach $8 billion by 2018.
From http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/activity-monitors-tipped-to-flood-market-with-several-new-devices-launched-at-ces/story-fnda1lbo-1226797516276, January 08, 2014