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
Giving the Blind Sight Again, With a Bionic Eye
Welcome to the bionic future you've been waiting for. After decades of work, blind patients can now get a bionic eye implant that allows them to see again—with some caveats. Retinitis pigmentosa is a particularly cruel disease. The Argus II bionic eye (technical, less catchy name: the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System) is designed to bring a semblance of sight back to RP patients. In development for decades, the recently FDA-approved device consists of a pair of video camera-equipped glasses linked to a processor that converts the video signals into electrical impulses, which in turn mimic the body's nerve conduction signals.
From http://www.fastcoexist.com/3040423/giving-the-blind-sight-again-with-a-bionic-eye, January 14, 2015
IriTech Develops Iris Authorization Device That Can Capture Images Under Direct Sunlight
Iris-based identity management firm IriTech announced it has developed a new technology that can accurately capture and process iris images under direct sunlight of over 100,000 lux. IriTech claims the new iris authorization device will significantly increase iris recognition technology’s convergence with the various industries such as mobile devices, wearables and automobiles. One of the major drawbacks of iris recognition technology is the issues it encounters when attempting to capture a clean iris image under direct sunlight.
From http://www.biometricupdate.com/201501/iritech-develops-iris-authorization-device-that-can-capture-images-under-direct-sunlight, January 14, 2015
Google's Project Ara is Finally Coming Out With its Modular Smartphones
Project Ara, Google's effort to bring to life a modular phone that you put together like Lego bricks, is coming to Puerto Rico in a pilot later this year. At its second Project Ara Developer Conference on Google’s campus in Mountain View today, Project Ara director Paul Eremenko discussed Google’s go-to-market plans.
From http://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontilley/2015/01/14/googles-project-ara-is-finally-coming-out-with-its-modular-smartphones-in-puerto-rico/?utm_campaign=ForbesTech&utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_channel=Technology&linkId=11725153, January 14, 2015
USA: Ai Squared Releases Window-Eyes 9 Screen Reader
Ai Squared announces the release of Window-Eyes 9, a popular software program used by people who are blind or have low vision to access and productively use their computers. Window-Eyes 9 offers numerous new innovative features and functionality that enhance the overall user experience for every user.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/01/13/ai-squared-releases-window-eyes-9-screen-reader/, January 13, 2015
India: Delhi University to Develop Math Kits for Students with Vision Disabilities
To make solving numerical problems less taxing for students with vision disabilities, Delhi University (DU) is developing specialized ‘mathematical kits’ which will make it much easier for them to study the subject. DU, which boasts of a well-stocked Braille library, had last year installed a special technology in all its libraries to enable students with vision disabilities to also access the books. The technology called ‘Inclusive Print Access Project’ can scan books and automatically transcribe the text to speech.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/01/12/delhi-university-to-develop-math-kits-for-students-with-vision-disabilities/, January 12, 2015
USA: Microsoft Rolls Out New Accessibility Options to Office Online
Microsoft has rolled out several new accessibility improvements to give users who are blind and have low vision a better Office Online experience. Microsoft has made the suite accessible to users who are blind and have low vision by using a new web accessibility standard called WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications). While this web standard has allowed Office Online to be usable with a screen reader, Microsoft has made some further improvements over the past year to provide an even better experience.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/01/12/microsoft-rolls-out-new-accessibility-options-to-office-online/, January 12, 2015