Making Mobile Devices Smarter, Audience Enables Voice Commands Like ‘Play Jazz Music’
Issuing voice commands to your mobile device is going to get a lot easier thanks to improvements in underlying technology from chip maker Audience. You’ll be able to leave it on your desk and say, “Audience, play jazz music,” and the device will comply.
From http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/06/making-mobile-devices-smarter-audience-enables-voice-commands-like-play-jazz-music/, January 08, 2014
Nuance Demos Two Devices at CES International: Voice Recognition for Everything and Swype for Smartwatches
If there’s one company well positioned to benefit from the rise of wearable technology, it’s Nuance. Nuance’s voice-recognition technology underlies many companies’ interactive assistants (including, most likely, Apple’s Siri), and that’s exactly the kind of tech you’d want for gadgets that are too small for touchscreens, let alone keyboards. To that end, Nuance announced two new products today at the International CES, a huge technology tradeshow in Las Vegas: Dragon Mobile Assistant and a version of its Swype virtual keyboard for smartwatches.
From http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/07/nuance-preps-swype-for-smartwatches-voice-recognition-for-everything/, January 08, 2014
Saudi Arabia: New Partnership to Develop Education and Training Programs for People with Disabilities
Rehab Group signed an agreement with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to support HRDF in the development of its inclusive employment and pre-employment programs for people with disabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The agreement was signed by Angela Kerins, Rehab Group Chief Executive and Mr. Ibrahim Al-Moaiqel, Director General of HRDF.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/07/new-partnership-to-develop-education-and-training-programs-for-people-with-disabilities/, January 07, 2014
Epson Introduces New Moverio Glasses with Head-Motion Tracking and Camera
Everybody knows about those other smart glasses, but they're certainly not the only ones making a big fuss these days. Epson has been working on a similar product called the Moverio BT-100, for the last few years, and it's ready to show off the next iteration of its signature wearable at CES. This one, the BT-200, will retail for the same $700 price point as the original, and comes with Android 4.0 support and a few new features and capabilities: Bluetooth 3.0 support, head-motion tracking aided by sensors and Dolby Digital Plus for surround sound are among the new options. Also, there's a front-facing camera with image and video capture, but bystanders won't need to worry about asking you if you're filming them -- an LED lights up on the lower left corner anytime you're trying to capture precious moments.
From http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/06/epson-moverio-bt200/, January 07, 2014
Wearable Health & Fitness Devices Can Help More Seniors and Family Caregivers
Wearable health and fitness is one area of technology we see as a big part of the future, not just for our senior loved ones but also their family caregivers. We don’t have to wait for the future to receive benefits from it, though, as there are a number of devices available today — primarily fitness devices — and many are already getting answers to some of their questions. We’re looking forward to getting a glimpse into the future, both near and a little further out, at the 2014 International CES, at which wearables will be featured prominently in conference sessions and on the exhibit floor. Yes, the future promises a lot but there is much about which to be excited today.
From http://ht.ly/2a1eri, January 07, 2014
USA: FCC Partners to Address Accessible Communications
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) signed an interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which would allow them to “partner on research into the use of modern IP technology to improve and make more accessible phone service to Americans who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing.” Research conducted under the MOU will focus on the effectiveness of current and potential uses of IP technology, with the intention of helping guide future activities of the FCC Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Program, a service which enables people with hearing or speech disabilities to place phone calls.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/fcc-partners-address-accessible-communications#!, January 06, 2014
Eye Control for Gaming is About to Get Real
You've blasted asteroids with your eyes, but are you ready to shoot virtual bad guys just by looking at them? That's the promise of a new game controller in development from SteelSeries, powered by Tobii's eye-tracking technology. Tobii has been slowly upgrading and improving its eye-tracking technology for years, first creating a laptop with eye control, then showing what was possible with an arcade version of Eye Asteroids. Developers have been able to unlock the possibilities of eye control with the company's Rex peripheral, and now the tech will finally be going commercial with the coming SteelSeries product.
From http://mashable.com/2014/01/02/tobii-eye-controller-gaming/#!, January 06, 2014
USA: Feds Report Boost in Disability Hiring
The number of federal workers with disabilities is on the rise, with a new report finding that such employment has reached its highest level in more than three decades. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said in a report released Thursday that the nation’s largest employer added 16,653 new employees with disabilities during the 2012 fiscal year, bringing the total to nearly 220,000.
From http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/12/20/feds-boost-disability-hiring/18985/, January 06, 2014
USA: NPR Receiver Gets Closed-Captioned Radio Emergency Alerts for the Hearing Impaired
I'll be the first to admit that I had a little trouble wrapping my brain around this one, but I think I've got it now. Sure the appeal of closed-captioned radio for the hearing impaired is clear, but what wasn't immediately apparent was why, precisely, one would want a standalone box for such information if you could potentially get it just as easily through, say, the station's website. This first iteration (which is very much still in the proof-of-concept phase) is intended for emergency relief organizations like FEMA and NPR and its partners are currently testing it out in the Gulf states. The box uses a tablet as a display, getting emergency information through the radio spectrum, so you can use it when the power is out and your WiFi isn't working -- assuming you've still got juice in your tablet, which powers the box.
From http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/06/npr/, January 06, 2014
Windows Store Now Lets You Find Accessible Apps
Microsoft's 8.1 update to its Windows operating system adds a valuable search feature. App publishers can now tag their wares with accessibility features, and consumers can search for them by feature. This leaves the real impact up to app developers, since accessibility features aren't required, but it opens up a way to communicate that other app stores don't really have -- another step forward in creating a stronger market for accessibility.
From http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/set-preferences-windows-store, January 06, 2014