LABCast #3: Michael Hingson and 2017 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Discussion


This week Tim is joined by Shaun Preece from the RNIB Tech Talk and Audio Pizza podcasts and Frank Facio from the band Steelehorse Country. Frank also conducted several interviews for the podcast directly from the exhibit hall in San Diego, California.
Tim, Shaun and Frank open the podcast by discussing the inspirational story of Michael Hingson Who was at the conference representing AIRA. With the help of his guide dog Riselle, Michael Hingson navigated his way out of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Listen as he tells Frank about the emotions of that day. And be sure to read his full story by getting his book Thunder Dog.

The rest of the podcast is spent discussing many of the products and announcements from this year’s convention.
Aira is a portable, on star type Service for the visually impaired. Does it have the right price point?
Braille note takers and tablets are finding a lot of new competition. Thanks to Innovacion and competition, this product category may not be as stale as it once was.
Tech 4 Freedom is offering a couple of different products that offer a variety of usage for the blind and visually impaired. First is the Box one For All whichh can detect temperature, color and tag and identify various objects. TheBeacon is a pocket-size device that connects to up to 10 waypoint begins that can be controlled by you’re iPhone.
Audio Eye is a behind the scenes service that works with companies and their websites to make sure they are instantly accessible!
Taptilo is a product that is not yet released but will offer lessons through games to teach you to read and write braille using a small box and an app on your iPhone.

Be sure to listen to our next podcast as we Spotlight eSight Eye Ware and their new product eSight 3!

Thank you very much for listening to episode #3 of the Life After Blindness podcast! As we journey together, we will find that there can truly be a life after blindness.

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.