One of the greatest things about eBook readers is how accessibility is in their nature. When I worked at Borders, people were always seeking large-print titles, but relatively speaking we carried far fewer large prints than regular titles. With an eBook reader like the Kindle, any book is a large print thanks to adjustable font sizes!
However, a Kindle can be tough to hold if you have any dexterity or coordination problems. It’s thin, the page turn buttons require some force to activate, and while it doesn’t weigh much it can still be a strain over a long period of time.
That’s what makes Origin Instruments new devices so great. They’re not cheap, and they’re not designed so you can eat breakfast while drinking coffee and have your Kindle pages turned for you. They’re designed for accessibility, and I’m just surprised it’s taken this long for a concept like this to appear. Sarah works with visually impaired individuals, and she says the concept of switches handling the basic tasks isn’t new, but this is the first she’s hearing about a Kindle-specific device.
I love seeing the ways technology can improve people’s lives, especially when it can help someone who might otherwise have difficulties using an eBook reader. With the growth of eBooks and an aging population, the market for these devices is just going to keep growing!
Origin Instruments Announces Switch-based Accessibility for Amazon’s Kindle DX, Kindle 2 and Kindle 3
Grand Prairie, TX, May 12, 2011 – Origin Instruments Corporation, a leading global provider of assistive technology, today announced the first switch-based access solutions for Amazon’s popular Kindle electronic book readers. The new PageBot for Kindle enables independent reading of books and other long form documents by people who cannot hold the Kindle or press its buttons.
PageBot combines a secure and adjustable mount, dual integrated actuators for the Kindle Next Page and Previous Page buttons, and a built-in intelligent drive circuit that can directly interface to a wide variety of adaptive switches. With PageBot, reading on Amazon Kindle is easily accessible to people with motor disabilities that might result from birth defects, spinal cord injury, ALS, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, arthritis, or repetitive strain injury. PageBot provides a much more compact, reliable, and cost effective solution for long-form reading than legacy mechanical page turners for paper books. Regardless of whether reading from bed, desk, easy chair, or wheelchair, PageBot provides a simple interface that encourages immersive reading.
PageBot integrates multiple interfaces for adaptive switches that can suit the preferences and abilities of individual users. Standard mechanical adaptive switches with 3.5 mm microphone-style connectors, like the button switches available from Origin Instruments, can be plugged in directly. Dual switches, like the Origin Instruments Sip/Puff Switch, can interface with a single stereo cable. PageBot is also compatible with a wide range of adaptive switches that are available from other assistive technology suppliers. In addition, a USB host interface is provided so that PageBot can be operated from the buttons of a wired or wireless USB mouse.
PageBot captures the Kindle in a grip of compliant foam that helps prevent scratches and enhances resistance to mechanical shocks. PageBot is delivered with an adjustable mechanical mounting arm that is articulated in four degrees of freedom. The mounting arm includes an integrated adjustable clamp that supports hard-mounting to table tops, shelves, or cylindrical rods of up to 36 mm diameter. PageBot also incorporates a standard 1/4-20 threaded insert for use with tripods or other special mounting hardware.
PageBot has very low quiescent power consumption and can be powered from the standard Kindle power adapter or from an optional rechargeable USB battery pack. PageBot includes an integrated Keep Awake mode with an automatic timer that can optionally prevent the Kindle from entering sleep after a period of inactivity. This feature eliminates the need to manipulate the Kindle power switch after a pause in reading.
PageBot for Kindle DX is priced at $379.00 US and PageBot for Kindle 2 is priced at $329.00 US. Both are available for immediate delivery from the Origin Instruments online PageBot store at http://estore.orin.com. PageBot for Kindle 3 is priced at $329.00 US, and will be available in June 2011. Amazon’s Kindle and needed adaptive switches are priced separately.
With PageBot and the Amazon Kindle, the technology quickly fades into the background of an immersive reading experience.
Click here to view the complete press release including additional feature information.
For full details, photos, specifications, and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Origin instruments website at http://www.orin.com/go/pagebot.
High resolution photos and collateral materials for use in web and print media are available athttp://media.orin.com/pagebot.
About Origin Instruments:
Origin Instruments was founded in 1990. The company is a developer and manufacturer of advanced electronic and optical systems and associated software. Origin Instruments services customers in two markets: assistive technology for people with disabilities and precision three-dimensional tracking for applications in a variety of settings, including academia, medical and government. For more information visit http://www.orin.com