Accessibility

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…


Fone Sitter Makes Sure Grandma Hung up the Phone!

My dad gave me a ride home from work last night. During the drive, he went to call his mother (my grandmother) and her line was busy. So he tried her cell phone. No answer. This went on for a good ten minutes; we’d chat, he’d try both numbers, we’d chat again. Finally, he started to get really nervous, and…


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?

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 a visually impaired individual to…


Chevy Volt Aims to Help the Blind

I bought a Prius over the summer. Halfway through the test drive, my fiancee asked the salesman if he was aware that electric cars have caused issues for blind pedestrians since they don’t hear the cars coming. His response (after an awkward silence where he no doubt considered whether his answer would lose him the sale) was “Well, it comes…


Getting Started With Dragon NaturallySpeaking Version 10

In this, the second edition of “Look Ma No Hands, Voice Recognition Technology Today” we’ll take a look at getting started with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Version 10 Professional. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Standard has an MSRP of $99. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred has an MSRP of $199.


Voice Recognition Technology Today

I’ve been using various voice to text solutions for a number of years. I began using Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking when it was back in version 7 or 8. Unfortunately, back then it was often more proof of concept than useful tool. The process of transcribing text was slow and the accuracy was not all that good. Over the years two…


Universal Accessibility Becomes Mainstream (and Profitable!)

Loving that new shuffle with VoiceOver? Dictating all your emails instead of typing them? You may not think about it, but many of those improvements and technological bounds come from a specific area of research; accessibility for people with disabilities. Businessweek has a great article about how voiceover, Apple’s love it or hate it system in the new Shuffles, comes…


Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online – Why You Should Consider It

In 1999, I had Lasik surgery to correct my severe nearsightedness and astigmatism. At that time I was 32 years old, and I had been wearing prescription eyeglasses or contacts since I was 12. I have the ugly yearbook photos to prove it — just ask anyone who went to school with me in Eldorado. 😉 Because of my vision…


Dakim Brain Fitness Unit Review

Imagine trying to explain a computer to someone who has never seen one. Try explaining this strange thing called a mouse, and how you use it to control your interactions with the screen. Try explaining how you type on a keyboard, and through the magic of wires and electronics the words appear onscreen. And if you want to move something…


Dakim Brain Fitness

I taught my grandmother how to use a computer when she was well into her 80’s. She saw that my parents and brother had computers at home, and I had one at college…so she wanted to get in on all the fun. I taught her to use AOL, how to play various games (Spider Solitaire was her favorite), and generally…


Review: Pur Sleep Aroma Therapy for CPAP Users

First, before we get into today’s review, I want to talk a little about Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is when you stop breathing while you sleep. The worst part of Sleep Apnea is a lot of people who have it don’t even know it. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include: Loud snoring. Waking up gasping for air. Waking up in…


The Sleeptracker Pro Watch Review

This review has been a struggle to write. Not because of a problem with the product so much, but because of my irregular sleep patterns and my less than regular schedule. Let me start by giving you an overview of how my typical day goes…never mind, I have no typical days. Instead of a routine of “up at 7 and…