Tag Archives: smartphone

UpSense Brings Braille-Like Typing to Touchscreens


Developed by Israeli Company Inpris, UpSense is mobile app that provides a gesture based keyboard that works similarly to Braille typing. Each character has its own gesture, which adjusts to the user’s hands and can even be customizable. It is very similar to another app designed by researchers at Georgia Tech. Both apps would be useful for users who already know how to type in Braille, however, could it become a more widespread technology? With more Universally Designed options on the market, like voice control and advanced predictive typing apps, is there still a need for something like UpSense? Most likely, the answer is yes, but as information technology becomes more prevalent in everyday life the categories of assistive technology and mainstream technology are over lapping more and more.

Learn more about UpSense on YouTube

SoundAmp Helps Persons Hard of Hearing


For just $0.99, a person who is both hard of hearing and an smartphone owner can be granted sound again. SoundAmp is a relatively new iPhone application that works by picking up sounds via the microphone, amplifying and processing them in real-time, and sending them to the attached earbuds/headphone. Also, with it’s “Boost” feature, high frequency amplification can be increased. This is paramount when talking to the elderly who tend to lose the high frequency range.

Vital Signs Camera App


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.

Click here for more information about Vital Signs Camera App on YouTube

Sprint Mobile Accessibility App


Sprint has worked with the developer Code Factory to develop the Mobile Accessibility app geared toward the visually impaired. The application focuses on providing audio feedback to navigate the phone. In addition to other feature. the phone reads back text in response to where the user touches the screen. This app utilizes the consumer’s abilities to remove previous limitations of mobile phones.

Navatar: Navigating Users With Little to No Sight in Indoor Spaces


Human Computer Interaction researcher Elke Folmer, based out of the University of Nevada, Reno, has developed an interior navigation system for people with little or no sight. Instead of relying on expensive sensing equipment or augmentations to the building in which the device is used, Navatar uses accelerometers, a low cost technology available in smartphones.
Indoor navigation is made more manageable by the infrastructure of the building. Users are limited by hallways and doors, and are less likely to veer as they would outdoors. Typically, to generate a precise layout of the area, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are used. These devices combine an antenna and compass into a small package for use with other technologies. However, they are very expensive to implement. Navatar uses what’s known as Dead Reckoning, a less precise but less expensive technology, in conjunction with a virtual rendering of the building being navigated, and the users’ confirmation of the presence of tactile landmarks as they navigate. Using a virtual rendering created by such products as Google’s Sketchup, a user can receive step by step navigation via their phones.

Assistive Listening Calculator – Free Mobile App For iPhone and iPad Eases Installation of Assistive Listening Systems


The ADA Compliance Assistive Listening Calculator is a free mobile program for the iPhone and iPad from Listen Technologies. The company describes it as “a complete tool-set for understanding and calculating facility requirements to meet the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design.” The app includes a calculator, e-mail capability, helpful ADA information links, product assistance and quote request button and is designed to take the guesswork out of computing for ADA requirements for assistive listening. The mobile app is based on Table 219.3 Receivers for Assistive Listening Systems from Section706: Assistive Listening Systems of the Department of Justice Title III of the ADA. The table outlines the minimum number of receivers/ALDS required based on the capacity seating of assembly areas; and the minimum number of receivers/ALDs that are required to be hearing aid compatible. The ADA Compliance Assistive Listening Calculator App is downloadable as a free app at the iTunes App Store from Listen Technologies Corp.


U-verse Easy Remote App


TV provider AT&T U-verse recently launched an app that allows their customers turn their iPhone or iPad into a Universally Designed TV remote. When used on an iPad, the remote is much larger than traditional TV remotes, making it easier to use for people with low vision or fine motor impairments. The app provides different options for the screen color, button size and font size, so that users can customize the screen to work with their vision needs, plus the app works with Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader technology to provide audio feedback. The app also uses AT&T’s Watson℠ speech recognition technology, so that users can perform a variety of commands, including Channel Up, Channel Down, Fast Forward, Rewind, Replay, Pause, Play, Record and Go to channel (name or number) simply by talking into the device. The voice command feature also lets users choose a show by simply saying the show title into the device. The app can also respond to gesture commands, which allows you to control shows you’re viewing with different gesture movements. One-touch access to closed captioning makes it unnecessary to navigate through complicated menus in to turn on closed captions.