Accessibility

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.



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…


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,…


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…


The iPhone as 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…


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….


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…


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…


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…


Automotive Technology Déjà Vu

I love new technology when it hits the automotive market, but sometimes I just cannot help wonder if someone else did not think of this first. Two releases I spotted this morning jumped out at me, and I was overcome by a strong sense of déjà vu. First, Ford Motor Company: Ford is aggressively accelerating its commitment to wirelessly connected…


Review: Amplicom Alarm Clock

Every morning it’s the same routine. You’re sound asleep, and then your iPhone/Droid/alarm clock/dog starts going off and announcing WAKE UP TIME! Basically, something blares in or around your head and you start moving. What if you were hearing impaired, though? How do you make sure the alarm wakes you up? That’s where the Amplicom alarm clock comes in. Amplicom…


CES: Nuance’s Technology Is EVERYWHERE! (And That’s a Good Thing)

A while we were at CES last week I had a chance to meet with a number of the people who I email and speak with regularly from Nuance. Nuance is the leading company developing voice to text technology; they’re the company that has given us of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Dragon Dictation for iOS devices and Dragon for Mac (the application…


American Foundation for the Blind Looks At Smartphone Accessibility

Smartphones have become nearly indispensable productivity tools. Businesses issue them to employees, and people use them constantly to keep up with their personal lives. But what do you if you are blind or visually impaired? Tiny keyboards and 3-4 inch screens aren’t always great if your eyesight is wonderful, let alone if you have vision issues. Luckily, the American Foundation…


Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP Headset- A Gear Diary First Look

As I’ve written numerous times here on the site, I am a huge user of voice recognition software. I’m blown away by Dragon Dictation on the iPhone, use Dragon NaturallySpeaking on my Windows 7 machine, and I have MacSpeech Dictate on both my iMac and my MacBook Pro. When I upgraded to the current version of MacSpeech Dictate I discovered…


Is Text to Speech Copyright Infringement or Accessibility?

(image courtesy audiobooks for everyone) Famously, the Kindle 2 debuted with Text to Speech enabled, only to see it yanked for many books after the publishing companies complained it violated audiobook copyrights. This debate is becoming an issue all over again because of devices like Intel’s Reader for the blind, which uses a scanner and text to speech to allow…