Africa: Social Media Skills for African Youth With Disabilities
Open Society Foundation and Disability Right Initiative have formed an organization to cater specifically to the disabled African youth - African Youth With Disability Network.
From http://www.scoop.it/t/internetdevelopment/p/2167944999/africa-social-media-skills-for-african-youth-with-disabilities-global-voices-online, July 17, 2012
Companionable Research Project Delivers Robotic Assistance for the Elderly
has linked intelligent home systems with Hector, a fully autonomous robot designed to play the role of a “companion” for elderly people (especially those living alone, or spending many hours of the day alone), to help them remain independent, secure fit and happy, through fall detection mechanisms integrated with emergency calls or remote monitoring services, personalised dialogue/interaction displaying emotional intelligence (using both visual, vocal and tactile interfaces, sensor-based movements such as “follow me” and natural language recognition of commands) to avoid feelings of loneliness, provide friendly reminders, store/bring important objects such as keys, wallet, and offer cognitive stimulation/games, as well seamless video connections to family and friends.
From http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/cf/research-detail.cfm?item_id=8267, July 17, 2012
Controlling Your Computer With Your Eyes
Millions of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or amputees could soon interact with their computers and surroundings using just their eyes, thanks to a new device that costs less than GBP40.
From http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712224622.htm, July 16, 2012
Outstanding Technology Brings Visible Light Communication to Phones and Tablets Via Dongle and LEDs
Data transmission via visible light is no longer a technological novelty, but it has yet to make its way into consumer's hands. Japanese firm Outstanding Technology is aiming to change that with its Commulight location system, which relies on a pair of receivers to get smartphones and tablets downloading info using photons instead of radio waves. One dongle is of the USB variety, but since most mobile gadgets lack such a socket, there's another that plugs into any device's 3.5mm jack. Each employs a sensor that grabs relevant location-based info from an overhead data-transmitting LED light. According to its maker, Commulight's destined for use as a way to give museum goers exhibit info, to transmit coupons, and even provide precision indoor location services more accurate than GPS or WiFi.
From http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/16/outstanding-technology-visible-light-communication/, July 16, 2012
Wearable Sports and Fitness Devices Will Hit 90 Million Shipments in 2017
The market for wearable sports and fitness activity sensors is set to explode over the next few years as a new generation of devices collect and automatically share data online. Nike, Adidas, and Motorola are just some of the companies to recently launch new wearable wireless products and there are plenty more to follow them. Mobile handset accessory vendors, consumer electronics companies, fitness management service offerings, and online services providers will all join a market that has long been the preserve of specialist, high-end vendors such as Polar and Garmin.
From http://www.abiresearch.com/press/3849-Wearable+Sports+and+Fitness+Devices+Will+Hit+90+Million+Shipments+in+2017, July 16, 2012
Accessibility of Government Websites in India — A Survey
The Centre for Internet & Society conducted a survey of the accessibility of the government websites in India. A total of 7800 websites listed on the Government of India directory were researched upon.
From http://cis-india.org/accessibility/accessibility-audit-of-govt-websites, July 16, 2012
Footwear for the Blind: Bluetooth Shoes
More than 285 million people across the globe suffer from visual impairment. Yet the tools to assist the blind in walking have changed little since the 1920s, when their canes started being painted white to make other pedestrians more aware of their presence. The gizmos that do exist have tended to be expensive and clunky, and have not caught on. This may change if Anirudh Sharma, a 24-year-old computer engineer from Hyderabad, a city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, has his way.
From http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/07/footwear-blind, July 16, 2012
iOS 6: Guided Access Accessibility Feature
Apple's upcoming iOS 6 software update for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will include a great accessibility feature called Guided Access. Guided Access will allow teachers and parents to control their children's device usage. For example, you will be able to lock app controls such as settings. This will ensure that children will not change settings or use distracting features. This feature will benefit people with autism. Guided Access will also allow teachers to give tests on the iPad or iPhone and ensure that the students will not be able to search for the answers or exit the test app. Guided Access will allow museums to use iPads as displays without worrying about people changing to another app.
From http://bdmtech.blogspot.in/2012/06/ios-6-guided-access-accessibility.html, July 13, 2012
USA: New Chip Could Eliminate Batteries, Getting Power From Heat, Vibration & Light
MIT researchers have developed technology that could be used in biomedical devices, environmental sensors and gauges in remote locations. MIT professor Anantha Chandrakasan and doctoral student Saurav Bandyopadhyay developed the chip, which can harness power from natural light, heat and vibrations in the environment, optimizing power delivery.
From http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1WaJcK/www.psfk.com/2012/07/chip-eliminate-batteries.html, July 13, 2012
USA: Walking Robot Legs Made to Reproduce Human Gait
Engineers at University of Arizona have developed a pair of robotic legs that they claim are the world’s most accurate representations of the real things. Though they don’t actually walk on their own and are suspended with a harness, the motion of the various parts of the machine was meticulously modeled on the neuromuscular anatomy of human legs.
From http://medgadget.com/2012/07/walking-robot-legs-made-to-reproduce-human-gait.html, July 12, 2012