technology - Archive

How the Apple Watch is changing deafblind lives

July 15, 2016 in Technology

 

 

COMPUTERWORLD
APPLE HOLIC
By Jonny Evans
Jul 6, 2016

I’ve come across a compelling story that shows how Apple Watch can make a huge difference to enable deafblind people to live more independent lives.

It’s all available in this extensive post written by Usher Syndrome sufferer, Lady Usher. The author is London-based and gets around with the aid of a cane, a guide dog and an iPhone, but Apple Watch is transforming her life.

Empowerment

“My new Apple Watch has made things so much easier,” she writes. “I simply key in my route on my phone, pop it in my bag and the watch, hidden safely on my wrist, vibrates to tell me to go left and right using two different tactile pulses. Another signal lets me know when I have arrived at my destination. It is such a simple idea and so damn enabling.”

“Just three weeks after I got the watch, my guide dog and I entered a month-long team steps challenge at my work place. Together, we walked almost 200 miles through the busy streets of London, simply by following the vibrations of the AppleWatch and the simple on screen instructions. For the first time ever, it felt like we owned the streets. The whole of London has opened up to me for the first time since I lost my sight.”

READ more  . .  deafblind- Apple Watch

WELCOME to – Eric Raff New Deputy Director of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

July 14, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Technology

 

Please join us in welcoming Eric Raff as Deputy Director of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH)! Eric joins us from Washington, where he was the director of the Washington State Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for 12 years.

As Deputy Director, Eric helps oversee all VDDHH technology and outreach programs, including Virginia Relay and the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people in Virginia who are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind or who have di culty speaking to communicate with standard telephone users. TAP provides no- cost telecommunication equipment to quali ed applicants who are unable to use a standard telephone.

See complete Announcement – DOWNLOAD Flyer

 

Watch This Innovative ‘Sound Shirt’ Help Deaf People ‘Feel’ Music

May 20, 2016 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

Billboard
5/19/2016
by Chris Payne

Those with synesthesia claim to “see” sound as color. A tech-focused fashion house has developed a shirt that helps deaf people process music in another non-traditional method — by feeling it.

CuteCircuit created something called the Sound Shirt, which translates sound into sensations felt across the wearer’s body. Different notes create different feelings across corresponding areas of the garment; in theory, it could provide the deaf with a whole new way of internalizing something they cannot hear.

 

Read more  . . . See Captioned Video  . . . Sound Shirt

Three Challenges For The Hearables Future

December 10, 2015 in Technology

 

 

TechCrunch
by Ruochen Huang

“Hearables companies are currently developing products that aim to both supplement and augment hearing.”

In Spike Jonze’s Her, Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his earpiece — or rather, the female voice inside it. The film depicts a society in which artificially intelligent hearing devices serve as human companions.

A cliché for the hearables futureHer nonetheless raises several key issues regarding the increasingly saturated industry of ear-worn wearables that must be resolved — not only to prevent an isolated world in which people become increasingly obsessed with their trinkets but also to herald the advancement of hearable technologies that will perhaps even be capable of their own self-reflection and introspection.

Reshaping The Stigma

The lonely future portrayed in Her is exactly what hearable technology should not evolve into. Yet, it reinforces how people generally perceive these earpieces — isolating and potentially embarrassing. We’ve already seen (and joked about) them with early iterations of the Bluetooth headset — this clunky, protruding device gave an almost comical impression that one was talking to oneself. It also attempted to standardize hearable technology, an effort to combat the existing stigma of isolation and introversion exuded through headphones and earphones.

Bluetooth headsets introduced the world to the potential of hearables, but the stigma is still there and especially present in health devices, such as hearing aids. They give the impression that the user is immersed in their own world; they’re perceived as socially awkward.

Read more . . .  Heartless Future

Hearing loop advocate coming to New Mexico

December 10, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

mvtelegraph.com
Updated 

New Mexico will be the latest state visited by hearing loop advocate Juliette Sterkens, Au.D., when she meets with hard of hearing groups and also with hearing care providers in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces in January of 2016. Her workshops on loop/telecoil technology will be jointly sponsored by the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons and the state’s three local chapters of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).

Dr. Sterkens’ advocacy for this time tested but largely unknown technology began after attending a workshop on hearing loops conducted by Prof. David Myers of Hope College in Michigan. She went back to her home town of Oshkosh, WI and began promoting the the use of hearing loops with her patients, then in the community, and then throughout the state. She drafted her husband, a retired engineer, to be a hearing loop installer and, when that became a burden, coaxed audio visual firms throughout the state to learn the ins and outs of such installations. The result has been nearly 400 hearing loop installations in churches, theaters, council chambers, libraries and other public facilities in cities spreading from Lake Michigan to the Minnesota border.

Read more  . . . Hearing loop advocate

Wearable ASL Translation Technology

November 19, 2015 in Interpreting & Transliterating, Research, Technology

 

 

Language Magazine
by admin34
November 17th, 2015

Roozbeh Jafari, Associate Professor for the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University is leading the development of a tool for American Sign Language (ASL) translation. While previous attempts for automatic ASL translation have largely relied on cameras and visual tracking technology, Jafari’s project tracks muscle movement and external motion. “The sensor is based on EMG, or electromyogram technology,” Jafari said. “Combined with the external motion sensors, which show us the overall hand movement, the EMG allows us to discriminate between gestures,” he said. “A fine-grain of interpretation […] motion sensors give us the overall sense and muscle activities give us information about the fine-grained intent.”

The prototype was revealed this past June at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference,   . . .

Read More  . . . ASL Translation Technology

Related Article from DOGO News –  By Kim Bussing on October 30, 2015

Accessibility tech in a hearing-centric world

November 17, 2015 in Technology

 

Watch The Verge video about technology to help children, and adults in a hearing-centric world.

What captioned Video

Yahoo brings accessibility quest to Boston

October 1, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Technology

 

 

Boston Globe
by Hiawatha Bray

According to the World Health Organization, a billion people worldwide have some form of disability. The giant Internet service Yahoo wants to deliver information and entertainment to every one of them, not just because it’s good business, but also because it’s the right thing to do.

On Tuesday, Yahoo showed off an “accessibility lab” at its Boston facility in Downtown Crossing. Yahoo will use the lab to test the closed captions it attaches to its online video content, to ensure that deaf viewers can enjoy the shows.

Yahoo includes such captions on nearly all its video content, but must carefully tailor the captions for multiple devices. The same video might be viewed on a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone or a videogame console. The Boston accessibility lab will ensure that captions are modified as needed, so they’re correctly rendered on each device.

“The more we can both prove the financial value and the social value, hooray! What a double win that is!” said Larry Goldberg, Yahoo’s director of accessible media and manager of the Boston lab, one of two run by the company. Goldberg spent nearly 30 years at Boston public television station WGBH, where he led the National Center for Accessible Media, a pioneer in the use of closed captions and descriptive audio for people with vision problems.

See original article

Hiawatha Bray is a technology reporter for the Boston Globe.

3 lessons from developers who have embraced assistive technology

July 26, 2015 in Technology

 

 

 

MASHABLE
July 26, 2105
By Karissa Bell

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 25 years ago, few could have imagined just how much would change as a result of the legislation.
Fewer still could have imagined a world where almost anyone has access to pocket-sized computers that would open so many doors to people with disabilities.

Today, we have apps that can help the blind see, give words to those who can’t speak and enable independence for people who would otherwise be forced to rely on others. To celebrate these advancements, Apple debuted a new collection in iTunes Thursday, highlighting apps that take advantage of accessibility features on iOS devices. The selection includes apps that help people with hearing and visual impairments interact with the world around them, those that enable communication for people with autism and apps that encourage learning at all levels.

We talked to some of the developers on the front lines of accessibility about what they’ve learned while creating these powerful apps, here’s what they told us.

1. Design matters — even if your users can’t see your app

Design is a fundamental part of any app. But even the most seasoned software makers find they need to rethink many aspects of design and user experience they would otherwise take for granted. While Apple makes its accessibility tools, like VoiceOver, readily available, developers often find making their app truly accessible requires a much more nuanced approach than what they’re used to.

Read More  . . . assistive technology

Apps help with pain, hearing, supplies

July 9, 2015 in Technology

 

 

McKnights
By Elizabeth Leis Newman, Senior Editor
July 06, 2015

A flurry of apps released or updated this spring may help long-term care providers improve care.

The company ManagingLife, based out of Toronto, said it created the app Manage My Pain with the hope of improving physician-patient communication, but will be feeding data to York University for a psychology study.

“Most chronic pain studies involve hundreds of participants, but thanks to this app, we have several thousands of patients’ data to work with, including hundreds of thousands of data points,” said Joel Katz, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University.

The analysis will be at York University’s Human Pain Mechanisms Lab, where Katz is principal investigator.

For residents with hearing challenges, mobile applications company Bxtel LLC has released Enhanced Ears, an app that lets an Apple iPhone to function like a hearing aid.

The Enhanced Ears iPhone app is an affordable, discreet and effective alternative to hearing aids for those with mild to moderate hearing loss, the company said.

Read more . . . APPS

Technology breaking down barriers between deaf and hearing communities

July 7, 2015 in Technology

 

 

DesertNews – National
Mandy Morgan
July 6, 2015

When Laurence Whitworth went out to play or to school as a child, his mother couldn’t enjoy the peace of mind knowing that her son could pick up a phone and call if something was wrong.

That would have been more than just a convenience, considering Whitworth is deaf

“My mom would have to let me go and basically pray that nothing happens to me,” Whitworth recalled in an interview using Google Chat.

Whitworth doesn’t experience that anxiety as a parent today. Whitworth and his wife Elise, who is also deaf, have two boys who can hear, and communication is the least of their challenges in the home. In fact, for the boys, ages 11 and 13, speaking into a cellphone is foreign. Texting and video messages are how they communicate with their parents most frequently.

Communication has always been key to opportunity for the deaf community. But technological advances, which have changed the way everyone communicates, and a growing popularity among college students to learn American Sign Language have removed even more obstacles to the deaf community and the hearing community connecting.
Read more  . . .Tech

Turtle Beach’s HyperSound is for hearing loss, but has endless potential

June 26, 2015 in Technology

 

 

TechnoBuffalo
BY ERIC FREDERIKSEN
JUNE 22, 2015

Turtle Beach asked us to check out its products at E3 this year. We knew we’d be seeing headsets, but the audio developer had a neat surprise in store for us as well.
There were definitely headsets. Lots of headsets for Xbox, PlayStation 4, and PC– everything from simple chat audio gear for Xbox One up through multiplatform headsets with “super hearing” settings that let you hear silenced footsteps.

What really piqued our interest, though, was Turtle Beach’s HyperSound Clear technology and the potential future it presents for audio delivery.

Here’s Turtle Beach on how the technology works:

HyperSound technology is a fundamentally new approach to sound delivery that utilizes thin panels to generate an ultrasound beam that carries audio through the air. The panels direct sound in a narrow, controlled beam; much the way a flashlight directs a beam of light. When an individual enters the beam, they hear immersive 3D audio, similar to wearing a surround sound headset.

Read More  . . . Turtle Beach

One day, you’ll fine-tune hearing aids yourself

June 25, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology

 

 

engagdget
by
 Jon Fingas
June 23, 2015

Hearing aids are supposed to help you resume a normal life, but they sometimes make things worse — and when most clinics aren’t prepared to calibrate the devices, it’s tempting to ditch them altogether. Norwegian scientists might give you an incentive to keep those earpieces in place, though. They’ve developed a touchscreen-based tuning system that lets you customize hearing aids largely by yourself. The technology asks you to pick a typical sound scenario (such as a busy office) and introduce extra effects until it replicates the situations where you have problems. After that, an audiometrist only has to adjust the hearing aid based on your feedback.

You may not have to wait long to see (or rather, hear) how well this works. AudioPlus Concept AS plans to use the system in one or two clinics in the very near future. You won’t have to rely solely on canned sound samples, either. The team has developed a mobile app that records problematic audio wherever you find it, so it should be easier to sort out your hearing aids even if you have unique challenges.

See picture  . . . research

 

Eargo looks to reinvent the hearing aid

June 25, 2015 in Community News

 

Maveron-backed Eargo looks to reinvent the hearing aid with rechargeable devices modeled on a fishing fly

Geek Wire
BY MICHAEL SHERMAN

Eargo, a Maveron-backed hearing-aid company that’s operated secretly for the past three years, today is launching a new line of hearing devices designed for the tens of millions of Americans that suffer from mild hearing loss.

The hearing devices, which include a patented Flexi Fiber technology and are modeled on a fishing fly, are nearly invisible when placed in the ear canal. They also are designed to provide users with more comfort and a better fit to the ear.

The Silicon Valley company started in 2010 and raised a small seed investment from Seattle-based Maveron in 2013. Since then, the company has raised $13.6 million from Maveron, Dolby Family Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Birchmere Ventures, Montage Ventures, Peterson Ventures, Red Sea Ventures and others.

Read More . . . fishing fly

 

The Internet Opens a Window to the Deaf World

June 25, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Technology

 

 

The Huffington Post
By Lydia L. Callis
June 24,2015

While mainstream media still struggles to integrate diversity into programming, the internet offers a vastly different experience. People around the globe, of all backgrounds and abilities, are uploading original new content every day, smashing boring stereotypes and changing the way we view different cultures. With a larger number of deaf and hard of hearing people sharing their opinions, ideas, and even their jokes, wider audiences are opening up to the real experience of deafness and deaf communication.

Thanks to the web, the lines between deaf and hearing entertainment are beginning to blur. Because it is so easy to add captioning now, deaf video creators are sharing their blogs, their art, and their lives with audiences who they may not have been able to reach in the past. By making their videos accessible, deaf people have the opportunity to frame their own experiences and creatively express themselves without being filtered by hearing editors and producers.

Read more  . . . Internet