Turning Smartwatches into Assistive Tech for Seniors
Smartwatches are more than high-tech fashion accessories for millennials, or the next wave of mobile devices for on-the-go consumers. They are also transforming the healthcare space, particularly for seniors. Innovative software developers are leveraging the sophisticated sensors in wearable devices to create solutions that help seniors age in place, while remaining continuously connected to the healthcare providers and caregivers who want to keep them safe.
From https://insights.samsung.com/2016/03/30/turning-smartwatches-into-assistive-tech-for-seniors/, April 04, 2016
The Next Big Tech Revolution Will Be In Your Ear
Sony recently released its first in-ear assistant, the Xperia Ear. Intel showed off a similar proof-of-concept last year. The talking, bio-monitoring Bragi Dash will be reaching early Kickstarters soon, while fellow startup Here has raised $17 million to compete in the smart earbud space. "I think the in-ear trend is the trend that could be the one for [voice] to have that ‘iPhone moment,'" says Jason Mars, assistant professor at the University of Michigan and codirector of Clarity-Lab.
From http://www.fastcodesign.com/3057483/the-next-big-tech-revolution-will-be-in-your-ear, April 04, 2016
Access Now Uses Crowdsourcing to Pinpoint Accessible Businesses
Imagine planning a night out with friends, calling ahead to a restaurant to make sure you have a reservation, and then finding out you can't get through the front door. It's a situation countless people with disabilities regularly find themselves facing — one a new app aims to make sure anyone with accessibility issues can avoid. The Access Now app was created in Toronto by Maayan Ziv, who says making sure she can access places in her wheelchair has become her life's work.
From http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/access-now-app-1.3467854, April 04, 2016
Blind Microsoft Developer Can 'See' Using Artificial Intelligence Headset
Saqib Shaikh is a software developer from London, England who is currently working for Microsoft on the firm’s Bing search engine. Shaikh lost his sight when he was seven years old. In the pursuit of the freedoms that sighted people all take for granted every day, Shaikh has been personally involved in the development of an application of Artificial Intelligence, cognitive computing, image recognition and mobile headset technologies. The image analysis processing, cognitive reasoning and speech intelligence in the device Shaikh uses allows him to ‘see’ the world around him in a way that was considered to be part of science fiction as recently as a decade ago.
From http://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianbridgwater/2016/04/01/blind-microsoft-developer-can-see-using-artificial-intelligence-headset/, April 01, 2016
Benetech Showcases Leading Edge Literacy Initiatives at 31st Annual CSUN Conference
Assistive technology — whether it’s a mobile app or a modified wheelchair — can transform the lives of people with disabilities. The latest in the field of assistive technology will be the focus of the world’s largest gathering of people who develop or use assistive technology, taking place at the 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference from March 21-26 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. The “CSUN Conference,” as it is known in the industry, is organized by California State University, Northridge’s Center on Disabilities.
From http://bookshareblog.wpengine.com/2016/03/benetech-showcases-leading-edge-literacy-initiatives-at-31st-annual-csun-conference/, March 29, 2016
Canada: Affordable Braille Reader Launched
The new Orbit braille reader was launched last night at the Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN)
in San Diego, California. The Orbit braille reader is the first ever affordable refreshable braille reader that is portable. Until now, braille displays cost on average around $3,000, putting them out of reach for many people – not just in Canada, but around the world. In contrast, the new Orbit braille reader will retail for under $400, providing an important new option for people who are blind or or have low vision to access literacy at an affordable cost.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/26/affordable-braille-reader-launched/, March 29, 2016
Google Launches Accessibility Scanner for Android App Developers
Google has launched a tool that will help make Android developers apps more accessible for all users, including persons with disabilities. The company’s new Accessibility Scanner looks at any Android app and will call out aspects of it that could be improved, particularly for users with disabilities. The app will even suggest ways you can alter things for the better.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/25/google-launches-accessibility-scanner-for-android-app-developers/, March 29, 2016
Croatia: HAKOM Develops App for Persons with Disabilities
The website of the Croatian Regulatory Agency for Network Industries (HAKOM) has published the Kviz app, designed to inform consumers with disabilities about their rights. The application was created jointly by HAKOM and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) of the University of Zagreb, as a part of the research project “Looking into the Future 2020, reports tportal.hr on March 27, 2016.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/28/hakom-develops-app-for-persons-with-disabilities/, March 28, 2016
Berkeley Scientist Designs Tools for the Visually Impaired
Dr. Joshua Miele's morning commute to Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute takes about an hour—as long as no one gets in the way. In fact, most people move out of his way when they see him coming, because Miele is blind. He’s one of about 140,000 blind and visually impaired people in the Bay Area. Less than three quarters of those people are employed, and only a few work in tech, like Dr. Miele.
From http://kalw.org/post/berkeley-scientist-designs-tools-visually-impaired#stream/0, March 28, 2016
66th UN DPI/NGO Conference in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea
The United Nations Department of Public Information announces the Sixty-Sixth Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference will be hosted in Gyeongju, the Republic of Korea, from 30 May to 1 June 2016. In past editions, this Conference has brought together over 2500 representatives from around the globe. The title of the conference is ‘Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together’.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/25/66th-un-dpingo-conference-in-gyeongju/, March 25, 2016