A new accessory has been created by Griffin for iPad users who have little to no fine motor skills. The MouthStick is a long, curved stylus designed to be held with the mouth. The curved end allows the user to flip through various pages and press icons on the tablet screen using head movements.
At the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting, researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School reported on a study that found that digital tablets improve reading speeds for people with low vision. The study was made up of two separate experiments. In the first experiment, 62 people read newspaper articles in three formats – a print version, a computer printout, and on an iPad. More than half of the participants had evidence of muscular eye disease. The study found that participants read faster on the iPad than with either the newspaper or computer printout, and this held true for both readers with standard vision and those with low vision.
In the second experiment, 100 people read a book chapter in three ways – in a traditional book, on an iPad, and on an Amazon Kindle. Participants read the chapter twice on each of the tablets, once at 12 point font and once at 18 point font. When using the iPad at the 18 point font setting, participants increased their reading speed by 42 words-per-minute faster than when reading the printed book. When using the Kindle at the 18 point font setting, participants increased their speed by 12 words-per-minute faster than the printed book.
The eye’s contrast sensitivity tends to decrease as people age, and contrast sensitivity loss is a common problem for many people with low vision. A loss of contrast sensitivity makes it difficult for readers to distinguish text from the surrounding background. The researchers speculate that the iPad’s backlit screen may be important in increasing reading speed and comfort for people with low vision, since it provides more color contrast and luminosity contrast than traditional printed materials. The Kindle used in the study did not have a backlit screen, although newer Kindle models with backlit screens are now available.
emote monitoring and telehealthcare are topics that often get raised when people discuss the future of the Aging In Place movement, and this app from Phillips may be a sign of things to come. The Vital Signs Camerauses the standard camera in your iPad or iPhone to monitor both your heart rate and breathing rate. The app’s software is able to recognize small changes in the color of your face to measure your heart rate with beat-to beat accuracy. Likewise, the camera tracks the movements of your chest to measure your exact breathing rate. The app can also create tables and graphs of a user’s history, helping to make sense of the data gathered and reveal any long-term trends. The newest version of the app can even monitor two people at the same time.