Going Steadier

Liftware is a new gadget that reduces the effect of hand tremor. Hand-held, it detects your tremor and compensates for it by counter-moving its attachment (such as a spoon). Could it one day have a stylus attachment, to improve performance with touchscreens or small keyboards?

Posted in Controls: number, size, spacing, force, Dexterity impaired, Hardware, Personal management and self-care, Size, weight, stability, grip | Leave a comment

Buzz Me In

Travel site Triposo has a new fashion accessory for you and your smartphone: the Travel Belt. Its 4 vibrating motors buzz at your waist to give you turning and walking directions to your destination. This saves you from constantly consulting your smartphone or looking uncomfortably disoriented. It might make independent travel easier for people with cognitive limitations or deaf-blindness.

Posted in Blind, Cognitively impaired, Deaf, Hardware, Redundant output, Transportation | Leave a comment

Now, Here’s Some Savvy Consumer Advocacy

A group of folks have started a campaign to get Netflix to add audio description to more of its streaming videos. What’s so savvy?

  1. They recognize that the studios that create the videos have a role to play, not just Netflix — the accessibility value chain.
  2. They provide clear, simple steps for visitors to take, letting them join the campaign easily.
  3. They use the tools others have built (such as a list of studio contacts), including Netflix’s own accessibility feedback form.
  4. No haranguing.
Posted in Building the culture of accessibility, Content, Entertainment, Market drivers, Network | Leave a comment

Disney Prototypes ‘Puff of Air’ Haptic Interface

Disney Research has developed a prototype device that lets the user feel the presence of virtual objects through carefully constructed and aimed puffs of air. Aireal aims the puffs based on the virtual reality interface — the puffs could be representing the beating wings of a butterfly, an underwater rock, or the boundary between 2 sets of controls in a software program. We look forward to adding this to a gesture input, so that more users will be able to control, navigate, and perceive more effectively with less effort.

Posted in Blind, Cognitively impaired, Controls: number, size, spacing, force, Controls: shape, texture, color, grouping, Gesture interface, Hardware, Just a prototype so far, Okay, sometimes it *is* about the technology, Redundant output, Simplicity, ease of use | Leave a comment

Senate Committee Approves Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee today passed the Workforce Investment Act, which contains the Rehab Act, by a vote of 18-3. The bill is expected to pass the full Senate, but then have difficulty in the House of Representatives. There were no changes made to Section 508 in the bill or to the mission and operation of the Access Board, but it moves the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), home of much of the R&D on accessible and assistive technologies, to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Posted in Laws, regulations | Leave a comment

Inclusive Technologies at CSUN 2013

Going to be at the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego this week? Please visit our presentations if you’re interested, and stop by to say “hi”.

Not on the program, so bonus points for anyone who asks me about inClue or Mr. Potential Head.

Posted in News | Leave a comment