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A Chat with ABC News on Assistive Gadgets

March 9 2010 | by

ABCNews_headshot

I recently did an interview for ABC news video. They asked me to come and talk about five new assistive technologies. I did the interview in their New York City studio, which presented somewhat of a difficult challenge as ABC News’ anchor is based in Washington, D.C. Which meant a remote feed — an earbud, which I couldn’t use in my ear because I have a cochlear implant.

Fortunately we arrived at a solution to tape the earbud as close as possible to my cochlear implant. So that’s why you can see a wire, and is also why I purposely move my head slowly when demonstrating the products. The sound technician said the next time I can buy a mono adapter for the awesome NoizFree headset that I use with my cochlear implant, which would have plugged nicely into ABC’s sound system.

In any event, the ABC News interview was excellent timing as I have recently returned from the 2010 Assistive Technology Industry Association conference. The products I chose to demo included those for a range of disabilities :

- Intel Reader, a camera and scan device that takes a high-resolution picture of a page and reads it aloud using text-to-speech technology. It is powered by Intel’s chips.

- Wacom Bamboo, a tablet, or trackpad, that offers both stylus and multi-touch for those with mobility or arthritis issues

- Livescribe Pulse Pen, a computer pen that can record the audio of lectures and sync it with your written word

- Wii modified remote for the head, for those who want to play video games but don’t have any arm mobility

Proloquo2Go – an iPhone app from AssistiveWare lets people communicate with others using text-to-speech software

- iSign, another iPhone application for learning sign language and helping the deaf communicate with hearing people

There were so many more I wanted to include but I only had five or so minutes. Check out the video to see the demonstrations.

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