“The Braille system has allowed blind people to read the written word since 1825. Unfortunately, Braille doesn’t translate well to the glossy smooth surfaces of modern touch screen tablets and phones. A new app thinks it can change that…
The new app was created by NMSU undergraduate Adam Duran, Stanford Assistant Professor Adrian Lew, and Stanford Doctoral candidate Sohan Dharmaraja as part of the Army High-Performance Computing Research Center’s (AHPCRC) annual two-month summer immersion course. It allows the blind to use tablets via the Braille eight-button keyboard but with an important twist.
Instead of requiring the user to find virtual buttons on a glass surface (how frickin’ impossible is that?), the individual keys orient themselves to the correct finger whenever the user touches the screen. “They’re customizable,” Dharmaraja said in a press release. “They can accommodate users whose fingers are small or large, those who type with fingers close together or far apart, even to allow a user to type on a tablet hanging around the neck with hands opposed as if playing a clarinet.””
“One day after Tim Cook’s first presser as Apple’s new CEO, the Internet is scurrying to analyze whether the lack of a radically redesigned iPhone 5 will give competitors a leg-up on Apple. Hardware-wise, maybe not, depending on what the competition has up its sleeve.
But there’s one element to the iPhone 4S—software, we might add—that is likely to eventually hit Apple’s competition where it hurts: the new “virtual intelligent assistant” known as Siri.
Introduced during Apple’s iPhone event in Cupertino on Tuesday, Siri offers iPhone 4S users a way to interact with their devices, apps, and data with natural language voice commands.
Users can send and receive texts or e-mails simply by talking to Siri, find out whether there will be rain today, create new Reminders and calendar items, ask for directions, move appointments, and more.
Not only that, but users can ask Siri to look up a plethora of information, such as restaurant reviews from Yelp or even simple facts from Wikipedia or Wolfram Alpha. Cooking and need to convert a recipe’s tablespoons to teaspoons? Ask Siri and get the answer back almost instantly without having to type a single character…
For Google, this is not good news. Google’s mobile search users (on any platform) are increasingly important to the company as more people begin to use their phones to look up local information such as directions, restaurant listings, reviews, and more.
Google Places, which works in conjunction with Google Maps, Google Plus, and Google Offers and allows businesses to pay for higher placement, was born almost entirely out of watching how and what users search for on their mobile devices.
Mobile ads attached to those queries are exploding right now—arguably moreso than just regular browser ads—and while Google doesn’t live or die by that revenue alone, it’s certainly not something to be taken lightly.”
In life, you had the rare honor of being described with almost all the adjectives people could lay their hands on – eccentric, passionate, prickly, brilliant, ego-centric and visionary. But nobody can deny that the $300+ Billion Apple empire wouldn’t have happened without you – only you.
And despite long periods of ailment, your death on Wednesday at the age of 56 prompted a global gasp as we all remember how much you have changed our lives in the worlds of computing, music and mobile phones, communications, information access and entertainment.
And we will continue to do so.
Goodbye, Steve. Rest in Peace.