Monday, October 31, 2011

SoundAmp Giveaway

Below is a promo code for SoundAmp. To learn more about SoundAmp click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the SoundAmp app. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. If you do not win check back latter for another code. Good Luck.


Friday, October 28, 2011

SoundAmp Giveaway

Below is a promo code for SoundAmp. To learn more about SoundAmp click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the SoundAmp app. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. If you do not win check back latter for another code. Good Luck.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

JotNot Scanner App (Giveaway)

JotNot Scanner is an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. To download JotNot click here. JotNot requires a camera in order to capture the documents. JotNot allows you to take a picture of a document and then save it as a perfectly centered PDF file. The resulting document looks as if it was scanned with a flat bed scanner. JotNot even allows users to fax the document from your iOS device. JotNot is $0.99 in the App Store. If you would like to try out JotNot you can download the lite version here.

The assistive technology blog will be giving away free copies of JotNot over the next week. Check back frequently to improve your chances of winning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

SoundAmp Giveaway

SoundAmp is a hearing aid App for iOS devices. To learn more about SoundAmp click here. Check back here later for the chance to win promo codes for SoundAmp. If you do not win the code check back later for more codes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apps for Autism (60 Minutes)

60 Minutes featured communication Apps for iPad this week. Above is the full episode. Click here to read the full story. 60 Minutes describes the episode as follows,
"Autistic people whose condition prevents them from speaking are making breakthroughs with the help of tablet computers and special applications that allow them to communicate, some for the first time. Lesley Stahl reports."

Notability Note Taking App for iPad

Notability is a note taking app for iPad. The app is available for $0.99 in the App Store. To download the app click here. Notability allows users to take and edit notes with multimedia including audio and visual. Notability allows users to input text with a keyboard or using their finger to write each letter. Notability also allows users to draw diagrams and highlight. The following from Notability's website,
Discover happiness in capturing your ideas and pursuing your dreams. Notability, the first truly integrated note-taking app on iPad, allows you to do just that. Audio recording, advanced word processing, full-featured handwriting, PDF annotation, and auto syncing flow together seamlessly, allowing you to create comprehensive, beautiful notes, quickly and simply. Even customize the look and feel to fit you."
One of Notability's killer features is audio recording. Notability describes the audio recording feature as follows,
"Standing on a framework that automatically links notes with audio recordings, this tool is perfect for recording lectures, meetings, and interviews. A simple tap to start and your ready to record your speech, presentation, or discussion. Recording even continues when your using other apps. These recordings enhance the review process beyond words. Simply tap on a line and listen to exactly what was said when you were typing. The unique sound amplification features will make sure every word is audible wherever you are. When you finished reviewing, keep the recording for a later date, or delete it. Its your choice."
Another great new feature is the ability to edit and modify PDF files. PDF annotation is described as follows on Notability's website.
"Import lectures, presentations, and forms, straight into Notability from email attachments, the web, or you favorite cloud service. You choose the tools that best help you capture information on a PDF. Write, draw, highlight, type, in an array of colors, or add images. Take notes in text or use a writing block to create a movable canvas. All these features work together to ensure you can create notes that fit your life."
Notability is a great, low cost app for taking notes. To download Notability click here. Click read more below to learn more about Notability.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wolfram Alpha is a Knowledge Engine

Wolfram Alpha is an internet based Knowledge Engine. It does more than a search engine because it can do complex math and science equation, generate bar codes, graph equations, display nutritional information and much more. You can try Wolfram Alpha free by clicking here. Wolfram Alpha gives you direct answers instead of links like Bing and Google. Wolfram Alpha can even answer trivia questions like the distance to mars or the width of a football field. The results of the search are displayed in a clear and organized manner that is easy to read.

Wolfram Alpha also has dozens mobile apps for iOS and Android. To learn more about the apps click here. The Wolfram Alpha app is a mobile portal into the Wolfram Alpha knowledge base. Other apps made by Wolfram Alpha include course assistance apps to help you pass your classes and specialized reference apps.

Siri, the iPhone 4S assistant feature also uses Wolfram Alpha to answer your question. To learn more about Siri click here.

Click read more below watch a video about Wolfram Alpha.

Monday, October 17, 2011

DocScanner Promo Code

Below is a promo code for DocScanner. To learn more about DocScanner click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the $4.99 DocScanner app. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work.If you do not win check back tomorrow for another code. Good Luck.


Friday, October 14, 2011

DocScanner Promo Code Giveaway

Below is a promo code for DocScanner. To learn more about DocScanner click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the $4.99 DocScanner app. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. If you do not win check back latter for another code. Good Luck.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Looktel Money Reader Promo Code (Giveaway)

Below is the Looktel Money reader promo code. To learn more about the Looktel Money Reader click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the $9.99 Looktel Money Reader app. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. If you do not win, click here to download the app.


DocScanner OCR iPhone App (Giveaway)

DocScanner is an OCR app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. DocScanner allows you to take a picture of a document and save it as a PDF or JPEG file. To download DocScanner click here. DocScanner also positions the document so it fills the entire screen. Another DocScanner feature converts the text of the document into electronic text that can be read aloud using VoiceOver. This process is called OCR. To learn more about OCR click here. If you would like to test out DocScanner's OCR capabilities download SayText which uses the same OCR engine as DocScanner.  DocScanner allows users to scan many different types of documents including business cards, recipes, articles and even whiteboards. Once your document has been scanned you can save it to a server, Evernote or Dropbox. Norfello Oy describes the apps scanning capabilities as follows.
"DocScanner has industry leading image processing algorithms which automatically turn the picture to look like you have scanned the document with a flatbed scanner."
DocScanner is a competitor to ZoomReader which is another OCR app in the App Store. ZoomReader costs $19.99 while DocScanner costs $4.99. DocScanner has more features including Evernote and Dropbox compatibility and the option to save documents as PDF or JPEG. DocScanner also allows users to scan multiple pages into one documents while ZoomReader only allows you to scan one. ZoomReaders OCR engine does work faster and more accurately in my tests.


The Assistive Technology Blog will be giving away six copies of the DocScanner app over the next week. Promo codes will be posted to the blog over the next week. The first person to enter the code into iTunes will win the app. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. DocScanner is a $4.99 value in the App Store.

Click read more below to see more pictures of DocScanner.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

iOS 5 Released with Many New Accessibility Features

Today, Apple released iOS 5 to the public. The update is available free though iTunes. iOS 5 includes over 200 new features along with numerous accessibility improvements. To learn more about iOS 5 accessibility click here. To read more about iPhone 4S accessibility click here. iOS 5 is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, iPad 2, iPod Touch 4th generation and iPod Touch 3rd generation. Some lesser known accessiblity features include a system-wide dictionary, the option to speak a selected body of text, a reader mode which filters out all distractions on the web and only leaves important content. The new update includes features to help people with visual impairments, hearing impairments, physical disabilities and learning disabilities. Below is Apple's take on iOS 5 accessiblity.
"iOS 5 comes with innovative new features that make it easier for people with mobility, hearing, vision, and cognitive disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. iOS 5 works with specialized hardware accessories. The LED flash and custom vibration settings let you see and feel when someone’s calling. And improvements to VoiceOver include custom element labeling. These are just a few of the ways iOS 5 continues making advances in the field of accessibility."
Click read more below to see more pictures and videos of iOS 5.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Looktel Money Reader App Updated (Giveaway)

Today the Looktel Money Reader was updated to version 2.1. The new update includes bug fixes and makes the app available in Europe. Version 2.0 added support for the Euro, Pound, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar. The Looktel Money Reader can recognize any supported bill when it is in front of the camera The Money Reader will audibly say the denomination of the bill. The Looktel Money Reader is available in the App Store for $9.99. Click here to download the Looktel Money Reader. The Money Reader is can help visually impaired people quick identify the denomination of money anywhere. To learn more about the inaccessibility of paper money click here. To learn more about the Looktel Money Reader click here.


The makers of Looktel provide promotional codes to use as give aways on this blog. Sometime in the next 48 hours one promotional code will be posted on the Assistive Technology Blog. The first reader to redeem the code wins the app. Once one person uses the code it will no longer work. If you do not win the app is availabe by purchase.  You can find it by clicking here.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

SoundAMP Turns Your iOS Devices Into a Hearing Aid

SoundAMP is a app for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that turns your device into a hearing aid. The full version of the app costs $4.99 and the lite version is $0.99. Click here to download the full version. Click here to download the $0.99 lite version. The app uses your devices built in microphone the capture the sound and then amplifies the sound through your head phones. SoundAMP can also record the sound and play it back to you later. There are numerous uses for this app including lectures, plays, movies, watching TV and much more. Click read more below to see screen shots of the app in action.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Is U.S. Money Accessible?

Above is a great video about the struggles that blind people face when dealing with money. Because U.S. currency is a uniform size and texture people with visual impairments can not tell the difference between a 5 dollar bill and a twenty dollar bill. When in a retail environment, the visually impaired customer must trust the cashier to give them the correct amount of change. Luckily there are solutions. An iOS app call the Looktel money reader can quickly and accurately determine the denomination of money  by using the device's camera. To read more about the Looktel money reader app click here.     

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

iPhone 4S Accessibility Features

Today, Apple announced the iPhone 4S. The new iPhone will be available to buy in stores on October 14th. Along with the new iPhone, Apple announced that iOS 5 will be released as a free update on October 12th. iOS 5 includes many accessibility features that will help people with disabilities. To read about iOS 5's accessibility features click here. The iPhone 4s includes a couple of exclusive features that will benefit people with disabilities.

The iPhone 4S has a faster processor which allows it to preform tasks more quickly then the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S also has an improved camera that will work much better with OCR apps as well as object recognition apps such as Looktel's money reader and VizWiz. As a result of the faster processor the iPhone 4S is also able to preform advanced speech recognition.

The speech recognition feature dubbed Siri is like a personal assistant built right into the phone. It works solely off the sound of the users voice. Apple describes Siri as,
"Now you can use your voice to use your iPhone. Just talk to Siri as you would to a person: “Do I need an umbrella?” or “Any great burgers around here?” or “Where’s the closest ATM?” Siri not only understands what you say, it knows what you mean.1 It figures out the right apps to use to find the right answer. Then, just like a personal assistant, it answers you. Siri makes phone calls, sends messages, schedules meetings, sets reminders, and more. How much more? Just ask, and Siri tells you that, too."
To learn more about Siri watch the video below. Another exclusive feature to the iPhone 4S is dictation. Dictation allows users to input any text using the sound of their voice. To activate dictation simply tap on the microphone in the bottom left of the keyboard and speak your text. Dictation is a great for users that cannot see the keyboard, people who struggle to spell or people with physical disabilities. Below is Apple's description about dictation,
"Here’s another amazing way to get things done: just use your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard. Then say what you want to say and iPhone listens. Tap Done, and iPhone converts your words into text. Use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web, and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write and send Instagrams." 
Click read more to see more pictures, watch videos and read a press release about the iPhone 4S.

Todays "Let's Talk iPhone" Event Accessibility Implications

Today Apple is set to announce the next version of the iPhone along with iOS 5. The announcement will have major effects on iOS users with disabilities. iOS 5, the next version of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch operating system, will include many major accessibility enhancements. To learn more about iOS 5 accessibility click here. The hardware announced tomorrow will also effect the assistive technology world. Click here to learn more about the next iPhone's impact on accessibility. What ever Apple announces tomorrow check back on the assistive technology blog for the accessibility angle of the new products.      

Monday, October 3, 2011

Braille Gift Cards

Plastic credit cards and gift cards feel identical to one another making them indistinguishable to blind and visually impaired users. Starbucks and other retailers have a solution, credit cards or gift cards with braille. Gift cards and credit cards like the one pictured above have braille labels that makes them easy to tell apart. Now there is no need to guess if you are giving the cashier your metro card, credit card or Starbucks gift card. Starbucks description of the braille gift card,
"Our Fall 2011 card is all about the brilliant colors of autumn’s changing leaves. But given that October is also National Disability Awareness Month, we thought we’d take this opportunity to release our first Starbucks Card with Braille lettering so that all can share."
To order the braille gift card click here.