Access on Main Street

Hooking up a usable world, one mainstream product at a time.

Chameleon lamp reacts to ambient background

Posted by Jane Berliss-Vincent 24 November 2010

The Huey lamp senses the color of whatever it’s sitting on and changes to match that color. What we’d love to see as a related product is a lamp with the same type of sensors, but that responds by changing to a light color that would maximize contrast for elders and people with low vision.

OhGizmo: Huey chameleon lamp changes colors to match whatever he’s sitting on

You must remember this…

Posted by Jane Berliss-Vincent 23 September 2010

And the iPad jumps into the world of brainwaved-powered operation. Currently used for osculatory goals, but other applications could be developed, either to allow people with little or no dexterity to run apps or to serve as a biofeedback trainer.

Dvice: iPad kissing game improves your ‘Jedi mind tricks for dating’ skills

Ubuntu in your face

Posted by Jane Berliss-Vincent 22 September 2010

An Ubuntu prototype will react to your face and body position in a variety of ways–automatically making text larger as you move away, for example, or expanding a video to full-screen mode if you lean back. Very promising for both vision and dexterity accommodations.

Engadget: Ubuntu prototype uses face recognition to intelligently move UI elements

Here’s the scoop:

Posted by Jane Berliss-Vincent 2 August 2010

We’re keeping an eye on the relevance to wheelchair users of the Roboscooper, which looks like a commercial variation of the iRobot Create modification for the Roomba. Roboscooper picks up objects and puts them in a “cargo bay” (unclear if this is a set area or can be specified by the user), or knocks them around (and out of the way?). We do like that it has a variety of clear spoken messages in response to a variety of situations, including encountering an object that’s too big or heavy, and that it can run either automatically or via remote control.

Robots Roboscooper

Tune in, turn on

Posted by Jane Berliss-Vincent 28 June 2010

Auto-Tune is software that can make bad singers sound competent, or game show hosts sound stoned. Wonder if the technology could also be used to modify the voices of people with dysarthric speech so that speech recognition applications would recognize them better?

Gizmodo: What Is Last Week’s “Alex Meets Auto-Tune” Jeopardy Category?

Across the universal

Posted by Jane Berliss-Vincent 24 June 2010

Looks like there are several universal design features to applaud in iOS 4, the new iPhone operating system. The one we’re latching on to is systemwide implementation of typing assistance: auto-suggest and spell check.

Access Tech News: iOS 4: The Complete Walkthrough and Guide

Look, Mazda, no hands

Posted by Jane Berliss-Vincent 1 June 2010

The Swing Pro Solo Auto concept basically does away with the steering wheel. Instead, you make the car turn simply by leaning in the direction you want to go. This has obvious benefits for upper-limb amputees and anyone who has difficulty with grasping or turning a wheel. We can also see elimination of the wheel as improving driving comfort for people who are obese or pregnant. Finally, for people with cognitive conditions such as left/right dyslexia, leaning is probably going to require less effort and allow faster reaction times than steering.

Yanko Design: Swing Pro Solo Auto

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