'Be My Eyes' iPhone App Lets You Help the Blind Using Video Chat
There's a new iPhone app from the Danish team known for Thermodo that lets sighted folks help the blind on the rare occasions they need it. Called Be My Eyes, the non-profit, crowd-sourced app (on iOS only for now) pairs sighted with blind users using video chat. The concept is pretty simple: when a blind person needs help to, say, glean the expiration date on a carton of milk or cross a street, they simply tap their screen to find the first available sighted helper. Once a helper accepts the request, the blind person points his rear camera at the problem and can get assistance by video chat.
From http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/16/be-my-eyes-iphone-app-help-the-blind/#continued, January 19, 2015
How Next-Gen Computing Changes the Way We Live and Work
Despite tremendous advances in cognitive computing capabilities, organizations have only begun to scratch the surface of potential for this innovative technology. From improving customer engagement to enhancing research capabilities that identify new, life-saving medical treatments, the potential value of cognitive-based solutions is boundless.
From http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/cognitivefuture/, January 19, 2015
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): Integrated Accessibility Standards
The AODA requires organizations, including employers and trade unions, to comply with certain Accessibility Standards in such areas as employment, delivery of goods and services, transportation and communications with an aim to removing barriers to accessibility. The Accessibility Standards impose significant obligations on public and private sector employers which reach well beyond and are in addition to, the existing accommodation requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
From http://www.niagarathisweek.com/shopping-story/5159792-accessibility-for-ontarians-with-disabilities-act-aoda-integrated-accessibility-standards/, January 16, 2015
Business Online Accessibility Matters too for People with Disabilities
Don't think you can avoid the Americans with Disabilities Act simply because you operate an online business. Even a business with no bricks and mortar has to be aware of the needs of disabled customers. Online grocer Peapod.com recently learned that lesson. It entered a SETTLEMENT with the United States Justice Department to resolve allegations that its website violated the ADA. Peapod is an internet grocer based in Chicago. Customers can order products in a broad range of categories, including meat and seafood, deli items, prepared foods and health and beauty aids. Customers can place orders seven days a week for delivery as soon as the next day or up to two weeks in advance.
From http://abilitychicagoinfo.blogspot.in/2014/12/business-online-accessibility-matters.html?spref=tw, January 16, 2015
New August Connect Allows You to Control Your Smartlock from Anywhere
Gradually, home automation is taking its place in the market. With almost everyone carrying at least one smartphone all the time, this idea appeals to a major crowd although it has only penetrated a small portion of it at present. One of its potentials is being able to improve home security. August, is a company that presents door locks that are Android or iOS smartphone operated. However, generally, such technology depends on Bluetooth connection to function. Thus, you can only turn the switch in a limited proximity.
From http://www.doi-toshin.com/new-august-connect-allows-control-smartlock-anywhere/, January 15, 2015
Study Shows Innovative Use of Smartwatch in Diagnosis of Tremors
Researchers from the University of Calgary have demonstrated that tremors can be accurately diagnosed and assessed using a smartwatch. It’s estimated that essential tremor affects 10 million patients in the United States alone. Another 10 million patients are affected by Parkinson’s disease worldwide. Clearly, the burden of disease is large and the impact on day-to-day life for many of these patients is significant.
From http://www.imedicalapps.com/2015/01/new-study-shows-innovative-use-smartwatch-diagnosis-tremors/, January 15, 2015
Google's Translation App Will Soon Turn Speech Into Text on the Fly
Skype already manages a similar feat on Windows 8.1, and Japan's DoCoMo showed this off on phones a while back. The concept isn't entirely new, then. With that said, Google's approach may be more helpful for your tourist expeditions simply because it combines extensive cloud translation technology with an easy-to-find mobile app. And no, the automatic interpretation shouldn't pose a security risk. Google splits conversations into separate files, so spies and thieves can't easily figure out who said what.
From http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/11/google-translate-automatic-speech-to-text/, January 15, 2015
Wearable Devices as Facilitators, Not Drivers, of Health Behavior Change
Several large technology companies including Apple, Google, and Samsung are entering the expanding market of population health with the introduction of wearable devices. This technology, worn in clothing or accessories, is part of a larger movement often referred to as the “quantified self.” The notion is that by recording and reporting information about behaviors such as physical activity or sleep patterns, these devices can educate and motivate individuals toward better habits and better health. The gap between recording information and changing behavior is substantial, however, and while these devices are increasing in popularity, little evidence suggests that they are bridging that gap.
From http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2089651, January 15, 2015
Adhesive Wearables Function as Second Smarter Skin
For most users, wearables sit on the wrist as smartwatches or fitness trackers à la Jawbone or FitBit. For a dedicated few, wearable tech manifests in a pair of Google Glasses. However, in the near future, wearables will likely be worn by a much larger sector of the population in the form of adhesives that track vital signs, physical performance, and quality of life. Wrist-worn fitness trackers, however advanced, are only as good as the individuals who wear them. Trackers often report inaccurate measures as users remove them for work, outings, or sleep.
From http://www.psfk.com/2015/01/new-adhesive-wearables-skin.html, January 15, 2015
BBM Apps is Coming to Android Wearable Early This Year
Blackberry announced earlier this year that BBM apps will be available on Android Wearable devices. Thus, this will enable BBM users to communicate faster and more discreetly while on the go. On top of that, the users are able to access their BBM messages from their smartwatch without having the need to reach for their smartphones.
From http://www.doi-toshin.com/bbm-apps-coming-android-wearable-early-year/, January 14, 2015