CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Apps round up November 4, 2019

November 04, 2019

Apps round up

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my apps roundup.

Enjoy!

 

  1. Button by Neatebox (iOS, Free)

18 years working for Guide Dogs for the Blind watching my blind and visually impaired friends struggle to interact with pedestrian crossings prompted me to look for a solution which would make the lives of all disabled people easier in this area.  Many crossings poles are out of reach or too far from the crossing to be useful so I set up Neatebox and looked for a way in which we could press the button at the crossing using our mobile phones.  “Button” by Neatebox is the result of this hard work and gives you a hands-free remote crossing control from your phone. It removes the need for you to make physical contact with the crossing pole and leaves you free to focus on a safe and efficient crossing.

 

Simply download the free app and input your details and you are ready to go.  At this time there are limited locations in which the system can be used but we are keen to install more. If you feel that a crossing near you could do with an innovative solution such as this please let us know using the ‘request a crossing’ feature within the app’s settings and we will contact the Local Authority on your behalf to ask for our system to be installed.

 

Current Version: 1.02 (February 1, 2018)

Read Button by Neatebox’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

Visit Button by Neatebox’s App Store page:

 

  1. Welcome by Neatebox

(iOS, Free)

Do you feel that society has disabled you and hinders you from receiving the level of customer service you would like?

 

“Welcome” by Neatebox aims to redress this balance and provides you with an effective communication tool which can help customer service teams give you the support you deserve.

 

Simply download the free app, input your details, specify your needs and plan your first trip.

 

Please request any venues you would like to see included and remember there is strength in numbers so invite your friends and request together for greater impact.

 

Current Version: 1.9.0 (July 24, 2019)

Read Welcome by Neatebox’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

Visit Welcome by Neatebox’s App Store page:

 

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

iOS:

Mac:

Apple Watch:

Apple TV:

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

GTT New Westminster Summary Notes, Soundscape, August 28, 2019

Get Together with Technology (GTT)

New Westminster Meeting

 

A Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind

in partnership with

Blind Beginnings

Vancouver Community College

And

Canadian Assistive Technology

Summary Notes

 

August 28, 2019

Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

07 GTT New Westminster, Soundscape, August 28, 2019:

 

Microsoft Soundscape

A map delivered in 3D sound by Microsoft Corporation

 

Microsoft Soundscape was recently released in Canada in both official languages, Canadian French and English.  You can download Soundscape free for iOS from the App Store here.

 

Presenting over the Zoom Conference to the GTT New Westminster group were Amos Miller, the Product Manager for Microsoft Soundscape Research in Redmond WA, and Jarnail Chudge, a technology designer and user experience expert on the team.

 

Microsoft Soundscape uses 3D audio technology to enhance your awareness of what is around you, and thereby help you get around and explore your surroundings.

 

 

Soundscape will place audio cues and labels in 3D space such that they sound like they are coming from the direction of the points of interest, parks,

roads and other features in your surroundings.

 

You will need a pair of stereo headsets that you feel comfortable wearing outdoors. For example, bone conduction headsets, Apple AirPods and in-ear open

headphones have proven to work well.

 

Soundscape is designed to live in the background and provide you with effortless ambient awareness. Therefore, feel free to use it in conjunction with

other apps such as podcasts, audio books, email and even GPS navigation.

 

Key features:

 

– As you walk, Soundscape will automatically call out the key points of interest, roads and intersections that you pass. These can be adjusted and turned on and off.

 

– An audio beacon can be placed on a point of interest, and you will hear it as you move around. You can place an audio beacon on a point of interest that you would like to track such as your destination, a point to return to or a landmark you are familiar with.

 

– “My Location” describes your current location and the direction you are facing.

 

– “Nearby Markers” describes nearby places you have marked.

 

– “Around Me” describes nearby points of interest in each of the four cardinal directions, helping with orientation. Try this out when getting off a bus or leaving a train station.

 

– “Ahead of Me” describes points of interest in front of you, for example when walking down the street.

 

– The expandable Callout History section lets you review callouts you have heard, repeat callouts, hear more information about them, and more.

 

We hope you enjoy the experience. We believe that this kind of technology offers a new way to relate to the environment around you and we can’t wait to hear what you make of it.

 

If at any time you have any questions about Soundscape, please refer to the Help & Tutorials section available on the main menu or if you require further help then you can contact the Disability Answer Desk on

1-800-936-5900 which is a free of charge service.

 

This work started out in 2010/2011 when Amos was still in the UK. He was involved with the local guide dog organization there, and working with them to try and figure out how technology can integrate into our own independence and mobility when we’re out and about, but in a way that enhances that experience. Some people from Microsoft started working with mobility instructors, and guide dog and cane users. We explored a range of ideas long before we figured out how to solve the problem. We landed on this notion of how important it is to enhance the awareness, but not tell the person what to do in that space. A lot of what orientation and mobility trainers will do with us is to work on a specific route, but especially how to perceive the environment, how we read the cues that the environment is giving us from a sound perspective, echo location, traffic noise, direction of the wind, the tactile feeling of the ground: all of the signals we can get from the environment in order to orient, and make good navigational decisions. The work that we did with Guide Dogs in the early days of Soundscape was really to see how we can build on that. The idea of sound playing a big role in the perception of the space, was really how this idea evolved. Soundscape as an ap, is the first incarnation of that idea.

 

The ap is free, and available from the Ap Store. It does rely on map data, and so it does need to be able to access that data. For the most part, it will download the necessary data from the environment that you’re in, and from that point forward it’s not using data. So it’s not constantly drawing on your data plan, but it does require one. We’ve tried to optimize it so that the data usage is minimal, and in certain situations, it will also work in areas where there is no data.

 

Bose frames are a very good way to get the stereo effect, as are Bone conducting headphones. EarPods or standard headphones will work, but they will block your ears to ambient sound. Putting it in one ear to keep the other ear free won’t be effective because you won’t get the signature 3D effect. Amos said that he personally likes EarPods because of their sound quality, and it’s possible to insert them lightly into the ear and still have ambient sound. Some sports headphones are a good solution too, Plantronics for example. This type of headphone rests around the back of your neck, and clips over the ear. They sit in front of the ear canal without blocking it. They’re used commonly by runners and cyclists.

 

Users can email

soundscapefeed@microsoft.com

and that comes to the Microsoft Soundscape team. There is also a feedback button in the ap itself.

 

For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:

 

Albert Ruel                   or                       Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                               1-877-304-0968,513

albert.GTT@CCBNational.net                GTTProgram@Gmail.com

 

CCB Backgrounder:

 

The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.

 

The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.

 

CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net

 

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Apps Round-up, October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Apps round up

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my apps roundup.

Enjoy!

 

1. Backgammon with Buddies (iOS, US$2.99)

Backgammon with Buddies lets you play backgammon with your friends whether they’re nearby or far away.

 

You can open the app and play on your phone or tablet, just as you would with a board.  It’s also possible to play with your friends through the Messages app, by sending the board back and forth after every turn. If you don’t know the rules, the app also contains a small guide to help you get started.

 

Backgammon with Buddies also supports a wide range of accessibility features, such as Dynamic Type, reduced transparency, VoiceOver and custom rotors. This means that you can play Backgammon with all your buddies, not just those who can see or touch the board.

 

Features

*        Beautifully designed board with rich wood textures and felt lining

*        An integrated Messages app experience to play with far away friends

*        Highly accessible with VoiceOver and Dynamic Type

*        A lightweight app that respects your privacy

 

 

Read Backgammon with Buddies’ AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

 

Visit Backgammon with Buddies’ App Store page:

 

2. Trace See Plus (iOS, US$0.99)

Use App when people with visual impairment want to know what is in a picture. The application selects the closest thing from the 1000 categories of the learning model and answers in English the probability of the correct answer as to what the image is. Also, detect the person’s face and answer the number of people. Since all processing is completed inside the device you use, you can use it with confidence without forwarding information such as photos to the outside.

 

After recognizing the image, by touching the screen with your finger, examine the color and shape of what is being seen with voice and sound.

 

Current Version: 1.20 (May 30, 2019)

 

Read Trace See Plus’ AppleVis App Directory entry for more information:

 

Visit Trace See Plus’ App Store page:

 

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

 

iOS App AppleVis Entries:

Mac App AppleVis Entries:

Apple Watch App AppleVis Entries:

Apple TV App AppleVis Entries:

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna