Sunday, November 15, 2009


This Sunday, I'll be talking about accessibility, because not everyone can "surf" through the web (or the real world) as easily as most of us do, and a simple image, sound, ou improperly placed tag can become a major hurdle for someone with impaired vision, sight, or motor abilities.

Let's start with the:

Intel Reader

I know eBooks are all the rage right now, but considering how some "stupid" rights management issues are - making it impossible for you to listen to an ebook reader, for instance - maybe it's not such a bad idea to stick with the plain old paper books for a while longer.This Intel Reader scans and does OCR on it, and reads it back aloud.

It's a pity it costs $1,500 USD! As I find it hard to believe you wouldn't be able to do the same with the hardware you get in a $350 netbook.

Visually impaired Google search

Google has a visually impaired search page allowing you to quickly and easily browse through search results using the keyboard and better integrated with screen readers.
It's an experimental feature for accessibility enhancements but it might be worth it - try it out.

Freedom Leg - crutches B-gone

If you ever had to hop around in crutches, see how much better you'd be with one of there Freedom Leg devices. With the billions spent in medical research each year, why didn't they come up with this sooner?

Speaking without Talking

If speaking is no problem for most of us (some might even have a problem not speaking!) there are thousands of people out there where every single word is a pain.

Thanks to Audeo they'll soon be able to speak just by thinking about it. The tiny electrical impulses from your brain will be picked up by an electronic device and spoken alound by a digital voice.

I can already imagine a cell phone manufacturer wanting to use this technology to power up their hands-free device. Imagine to be able to talk on your cellphone in the middle of a restaurante (or even inside a movie theater) without anyone listening to you! :)

Painting with you Eyes

Thanks to the EyeWriter, which you can build yourself using cheaply available components like PS3's EyeCam even paralyzed people can interact with a computer using their eyes.

The Eyewriter from Evan Roth on Vimeo.

And to think so much money is often wasted in "professional medical devices" costing thousands more and doing infinitely less!

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