Blind Skateboarder, Accessibility at CES 2016, Future of Amazon Echo, AIPoly Review and iPhone impact on the Blind


This week on episode #1 of the Life After Blindness Podcast, Tim speaks with Shaun Preece from the RNIB Tech Talk and Audio Pizza Podcasts and Holly Anderson from the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast.
Tim opens the podcast by asking Shaun and Holly about a recent inspirational article from the Detroit Free Press. The article profiles blind skateboarder Nick Mullins who lost his sight after almost losing his life to MRSA.
The conversation then turns to CES 2016. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show seems to feature more accessible products than ever before!
Tim begins the CES discussion by asking Holly and Shaun to describe the BLITAB® and discuss whether they feel it could be a useful and functional replacement for the iPad.
“”BLITAB® is the World’s first tactile tablet for blind and visually impaired people. BLITAB® is a next curve Braille device for Braille reading and writing that displays one whole page Braille text at once, without any mechanical elements.”

Next, Holly talks about using an app that was featured at CES called Aipoly Vision. This app can identify text, colors, common household objects, currency and more. Tim, Shaun and Holly discuss the accuracy of Aipoly Vision and whether it’s worth the $4.99 a month subscription fee for expanded functionality.
Later in the podcast, Tim demonstrates Aipoly Vision in action.

Another big development in accessible tech at CES this year was a new service called AIRA – Visual interpreter for the blind.
From the AIRA website:
“Aira develops transformative remote assistive technology that connects the blind with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard that allows agents to see what the blind person sees in real time. Agents, serving as visual interpreters for the blind, help users accomplish a wide range of daily tasks and activities – from navigating busy streets to recognizing faces and literally traveling the world.”
Tim, Holly and Shaun give examples of AIRA in action and debate the possible subscription options for this service.
Rounding out the CES discussion is the implementation of Amazon Echo technology into so many new products. Shaun and Holly talk to Tim about the future of Echo and what it could mean to the blind and visually impaired.
Tim then demonstrates the Aipoly Vision app. You can download it here for free.

In January, Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. After the anniversary, Tim wrote a blog post about what the iPhone has meant to those who are blind or visually impaired.

The podcast finishes with Tim, Shaun and Holly discussing this article. They each talk about what the iPhone has meant to them and how it has affected their lives.
You can hear more from Shaun Preece by subscribing to the RNIB Tech Talk or Audio Pizza Podcasts.
You can hear more from Holly Anderson by subscribing to the Maccessibility Roundtable Podcast or by following her on Twitter @DHSHolly

Please subscribe to the Life After Blindness Podcast on iTunes and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Join us again next week for a one-on-one spotlight interview with Holly Anderson. Then be sure to listen in two weeks when we are joined by Mel Scott and Lisa Salinger from Blind Alive and Eyes Free Fitness.
Thank you very much for listening to episode #1 of the podcast! As we journey together, we will find that there can truly be a life after blindness.