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
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