Assistive technology news and info.
The American Printing House for the Blind is giving away an Orbit Reader 20 braille display to one lucky survey respondent.
If you're headed to the NFB convention in Orlando, there are a growing number of services which can help make your busy convention just a bit less busy. From rides and food to groceries and massages, one or many of the below services may help you.
Here's a super cool way to help students create bots that can talk about various topics. From Amazon:
"Get an inside peek at the Alexa Prize, Amazon's university competition to advance AI. This year s inaugural competition focuses on the grand challenge of building a socialbot that can converse coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics such as entertainment, politics, and sports for 20 minutes. The socialbots are works in progress, and your conversations and feedback will help students develop a more engaging AI. To try one, say: Alexa, let s chat."
To learn more about the Alexa Prize, click the provided link.
Amazon is the latest company to offer audio description for many of their available movies and original series. Currently, 133 titles are available with audio description, both for Prime members and for purchase.
Sendero has released version 3.0 of their GPS apps for iOS devices, and the beginnings of indoor navigation support are among the list of changes.
Apple introduced the next version of iOS, a new speaker, and new Macs and iPads at WWDC. But there were some accessibility features that gained a brief visual mention that were not covered.
Convention registration season is in full force with both ACB and NFB forms now available.
The release candidate for the 2nd major update for NVDA of 2017 has been posted and includes a laundry list of changes.
Google Demonstrates Android O Accesibility Features Including Accessibility Volume, Language Switching
Google's IO conference, the place where developers go to learn about what's coming up next in Android, has spilled the beans on some forthcoming TalkBack improvements in Android O.
Free Amazon Prime Video access is one of the best perks of being an Amazon Prime member. With it, you can watch tons of movies and shows for free, including Amazon originals you can't watch anywhere else.
Buzzfeed reports that Apple is planning to announce Amazon Prime Video's arrival on the Apple TV during the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5 and the app is expected to go live as soon as this summer.
Even though the Amazon fire TV is somewhat accessible, Apple has done a much better job and have more accessible apps. Will this one be accessible with Voiceover? We'll just have to wait and see.
In a move that is unsurprising to most, VFO/Freedom Scientific, makers of the JAWS for Windows screen reader, has discontinued sales and support for former competitor Window-Eyes, previously made by GW Micro and then AI Squared. Current Window-Eyes users are entitled to a copy of JAWS 18 free of charge.
Amazon has introduced a new, free feature for their Echo product with Alexa. Now you can call and message with your Echo device.
First, insure that you are running the latest version of the Amazon Alexa app for either iOS or Android. Next, complete the very accessible setup process, including importing your phone's contacts. Once everything is done, you can say things like, "Alexa, call Mom", or "Alexa, call Grace" to make a call. An example of sending a message would be, "Alexa, send a message to Chris". To answer a call, just say, "Alexa, answer the call". To check new messages, just ask, "Alexa, play my messages".
You can call or message any contact who also has the free Alexa App on their phone, an Echo, or an Echo Dot, and has enabled Alexa calling and messaging. Once you update the app, you can see which contacts have also enabled Alexa calling and messaging. Don't see your friends or family in the app? Just forward this post to help them get started. Need more information? Click the provided link to learn more!
Humanware has posted a product page for the Brailliant 14, a new portable braille display being shown at the SightCity event in Frankfort, Germany. The display can pair with up to 5 Bluetooth devices at once as well as via USB and can also be used to take simple notes.
The dates and program for the next edition of NVDACon have been announced. The 3-day virtual event, featuring presentations, lightning talks, and discussion about the free NVDA screen reader, will be held May 19-21.
A new listing in the iTunes App Store hints at a possible new braille display for Humanware. Brailliant Sync is a free app that was recently posted which offers support for Brailliant 14 braille devices, a possible extension of Humanware's braille display line.
In case you are looking to plan way into the future, the American Council of the Blind has announced its 2018 and 2019 convention cities.
Apple's App Store offers the AudioGame Super Bundle for $20.99. From the description, "In order to celebrate the official launch of Associazione Audiogames , we are releasing the AudioGame Super Bundle , containing some of our best audiogames: Space Encounter, Blind Gladiator, Audio Rally Racing, Audio Speed, She Noir and Inquisitor Heartbeat. Six of our best creations offered to you with an awesome discount! Available only for a limited time."
Google has posted about 70 sessions on the calendar for its upcoming I/O conference including two which are accessibility-focused.
Android's latest version of TalkBack is out of beta and now ready for your consumption. Version 5.2 includes new speech verbosity settings, new audio earcons, and other minor improvements
VFO, owners of the Freedom Scientific, Optelec, and AI Squared brands, is growing in size once again with the acquisition of The Paciello Group.
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