Samsung Goes Greener and Offers More Accessibility with New TVs

At Samsung’s (virtual) press conference presentation yesterday, the company announced new products and initiatives that reflect their commitment to innovation. Televisions that are more immersive than ever were on display, as were innovations that can make entertainment more accessible to more people. Here’s a look at some of what they shared.

ZVOX AccuVoice AV203 TV Speaker: Compact and Clear

What’s the first thing you do when you can’t understand dialogue on your TV? You turn it up, right? But doing so only makes all the sounds around the dialogue louder — which means higher volumes and you still can’t understand a darn thing. There’s another solution — voice clarity with the ZVOX AccuVoice AV203 TV Speaker.

Connectivity Is Meeting Simplicity in Elder Care

Baby-boomers are often referred to as the “Sandwich generation”, stuck between taking care of older parents and family members as well as caring for their own children. It stretches everyone thin, and at CES 2018 we are seeing more and more technological solutions designed to give everyone a bit of peace of mind without forcing anyone to teach Grandma how an iPad works.

PillDrill: Smart Medication Tracking for Yourself or a Loved One

One of the bothers that comes with getting older is that you’ll likely have to add at least a few medications to your daily routine. Whether you are keeping up with your own meds or those taken by an elderly relative, the PillDrill aims to make the process of remembering to take those medications as painless and streamlined as possible.

V.ALRT Personal Emergency Alert Device Review

Those, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials aren’t the least bit amusing if you or a loved one deals with old age or physical disabilities. My father, for example, is a stroke survivor, and anything that makes his life easier and/or safer is a good thing. That’s where the V.ALRT Personal Emergency Alert Device comes in.

Nuance Dragon Dictate for Mac Version 4 Is Bigger, Better, and Faster Than Ever

Nuance has just announced a brand new version of Dragon Dictate. Nuance Dragon Dictate for Mac Version 4 offers voice recognition that is faster and more accurate than ever. In addition, Dragon Dictate includes powerful audio file transcription prowess. I’ve been using the new version of the voice recognition app for Mac for the last week, and I’m impressed.

OS X Mavericks Brings Enhanced Voice Recognition

Enhanced voice recognition in OS X Mavericks means that you are no longer limited to the amount of time you speak and can dictate even when offline. It means global dictation is available everywhere and without time limits. It is a far easier way to write. In fact, I am dictating this and I’m not even wearing a headset.

VitaSound Personal Audio Enhancer PAE-300 Review – Hearing Help Where It Is Most Needed

There are several people in my family who have hearing troubles, some more severe than others. For instance, my mom started having degenerative hearing loss when she was in her early 20s, and for as long as I can remember she has worn hearing aids. My daughter, Sarah, has always had problems with certain tones; she has trouble discerning what people are saying if they don’t speak clearly or if they mumble, and she has used the closed caption setting on her TV to watch movies since she was 15 or so. I’ve had Sarah’s hearing tested, and although it’s…

Winston for iPhone Review

  Ever since Siri hit iOS, the idea of using voice features on my phone has become quite interesting. While Siri does not do exactly what I would like yet, I am always looking for other apps that add voice functionality. Sometimes I do not need to dictate to my phone, but would not mind my phone speaking information to me. With this in mind I found a nifty app called Winston. With a polite disposition and English accent, Winston presents stories from social media and news feeds as a personalized briefing. All you have to do is sign into…

Sonar Linux Aims to Make Linux Accessible to All

Over the years that I have worked in an IT support role, I have often had the experience of talking to people who didn’t have perfect eyesight or who might have other disabilities.   What might be easy for you or me to do on a computer might be extremely difficult for someone who doesn’t have perfect vision, hearing, motor control, or other disabilities.  I have had friends who were completely thrown for a loop when their  interface changed — not just because it looked different, but because their screen reader would no longer work or because the interface looked fuzzy…

Streaming Video and the Deaf Communtity: The Good and the Bad

I am fascinated by the ways technology can open up the world and make it more accessible for people with disabilities. What is a convenience for you and me may be a life changer for someone else. Unfortunately, sometimes technology outpaces itself, and leaves the accessibility features playing catch-up. It is something of a mixed bag in many areas, especially for the deaf and hard of hearing community. According to Slate, closed captioning is not required on Netflix, Hulu, and other digital media options. While Netflix does offer some closed caption titles, not all of their library is set up…

The iPhone as a Visual Assistant, One Woman’s Story

The iPhone is one of those devices that prompts its fans to declare “This phone changed my life!” Yes, the apps are great and add an immense amount of convenience to everyday life. And the ease of use means just about anyone can pick one up and grasp the basics within minutes. But then there are those individuals who can say “The iPhone changed my life” without hyperbole or out of tech geek exuberance. No, these people talk about how transformative the iPhone is thanks to the accessibility features built into it. Dan has written about how voice recognition, especially using…

Eton Axis Self-Powered Radio Review

This past year Sarah and I have been very lucky. While our town did flood, it only necessitated the power being out for around 15 hours. Many of my coworkers and friends north of us had it much worse, with power outages lasting anywhere from 24 hours to 5 days! Unfortunately, the modern world isn’t really conducive to going off-grid. Cell phones need juice, you need access to the news, a clock to see what time it is, and of course, an alarm clock if you plan on heading to work! That’s where having a radio like the Eton Axis…

The Amplicom Induction Neckloop (NL100) Review

photos by Kevin My mother has sensorineural hearing loss, and she has worn hearing aids in each ear ever since she was 36. My husband has hearing loss from working with loud machinery, and although he doesn’t wear hearing aids, he misses some tones and quiet speech is sometimes garbled. My friend Angie’s daughter caught a virus several years ago that wasn’t treated quickly enough; the result was that she went profoundly deaf in both ears and has since been fitted with two Cochlear Implants. My point is that hearing loss and forms of deafness are much more common than…

Andrea’s SuperBeam Phones On-Ear Headphones Go “Boom-less”

I’ve used a number of Andrea headphones for voice recognition in the past, and I’ve always been impressed. The company’s SuperBeam Phones are a departure from previous models, and I’m really loving the design choices that went into creating them. They are sleek on-ear headphones that drop the microphone boom, but still offer great voice quality. Here’s what the company has to say about them: SuperBeam headsets deliver Hi-Definition sound. Our unique integrated array microphone system is designed for use with Andrea’s patented beam forming and digital noise reduction audio software, providing “The Freedom of Voice”. SuperBeam also provides a new…

Intel’s “Upgrade Your Life” Event

Along with 12 other site owners, I was invited to attend the Intel “Upgrade Your Life” experience in Santa Clara, California on July 13th. I went into this event with no itinerary and no idea of what we were going to see, but I figured it had to be more than “just” processor chips. Sure enough, I was in for an eye-opening day … After a greeting by Intel’s Social Media guru Alison Wesley and an ice-breaking game of ‘guess the tweet’ game, we were on to the first speaker … Suzanne Fallender – Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy and…