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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 September 2007 Issue  Volume 8  Number 5

AccessWorld News

GPS on the Phone

Handy Tech North America, formerly Triumph Technology, has announced the availability of Way Finder Access GPS Navigation software, an application that operates in conjunction with Mobile Speak for Symbian phones. Way Finder, a Swedish product, has teamed with Code Factory of Spain to provide way finding technology on mobile phones that are equipped with Mobile Speak. Way Finder provides information on points of interest, intersections, speed, altitude, or coordinates. It can announce a current location or map a route to a desired destination. The Handy Tech news release states that the software is intuitive and easy to understand. Way Finder Access can be purchased in a variety of configurations--with Mobile Speak and a GPS receiver, with just a GPS receiver, or as an entire start-up package--with prices ranging from $500 to $1400. Listen to an audio demonstration at <www.triumphonic.com/demos/wfademo.mp3>.

For more information, phone Earle Harrison at 651-636-5184 or send an e-mail message to <earle@handytech.us>.

Books Added at Samizdat

Richard Seltzer, of Samizdat, the company that offers electronic texts of uncopyrighted books, has announced several new collections or enhancements of existing collections to its catalog. One CD offers 8 books by Jane Austen, another offers 31 by Frank L. Baum, and still another offers nearly 200 books by Irish writers. All the books are in plain text format, intended for use on standard PCs. Each collection--whether it focuses on a particular region of the world, period in history, or ethnic or cultural group--organizes the books logically. Purchase a CD collection of your favorite author--such as Dickens, Poe, Plutarch, or Twain--or a collection about a subject that you always meant to study (like government, art, or evolution). You can read the details (including the tables of contents) of all the CDs at the online store at <http://store.yahoo.com/samizdat> or phone Richard Seltzer at 617-469-2269.

KeySoft 7.5

HumanWare has announced the release of KeySoft 7.5 for the BrailleNote and VoiceNote family of products. This new version is said to offer the ability to read RFB&D (Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) and other DAISY-formatted books, a built-in playlist feature for selecting the order of music or audiobook segments to be heard, enhanced e-mail capabilities, improved synchronization for Outlook, and other features. Some features, however, are available only on certain models. Broader acceptance of various SD cards and USB drives, for instance, is available only on the mPower, and the direct access (for those with accounts) to RFB&D Audio Plus books is available only on BrailleNote mPower and BrailleNote PK. KeySoft 7.5 is the last version to be released for the BrailleNote and VoiceNote classic models. To learn more about it or check the status of your Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA), phone HumanWare at 800-722-3393 or visit the web site <www.humanware.com>.

Victor Reader Stream

New technology is part of the fun at the summer consumer conventions, and one device that drew particular excitement in exhibit halls and seminars in July was HumanWare Canada's Victor Reader Stream. This handheld player offers many of the features that are familiar to customers who have used other Victor players. In DAISY-formatted books, the Victor Reader Stream affords users the ability to navigate by page, heading, or bookmark. Bookmarks can be inserted, and a bookmark list can be reviewed. Volume settings can be set separately for headphones, and the built-in speaker, battery level, and storage space can be checked at any time from the keypad.

Additional features include variable speed and pitch and a built-in microphone for voice recordings. Content is stored on a removable SD card (not included). It can be easily transferred, via a USB minijack, from a PC to the Victor Reader Stream. The Victor Reader Stream can play books from RFB&D and Bookshare.org. Later this month, HumanWare plans to include compatibility with books from Audible.com. All the prompts are spoken by a prerecorded human voice, and all the text content is read by Nuance text to speech. The Victor Reader Stream sells for $329. For more information, visit the web site <www.humanware.com>.

Sendero GPS Version 4.0

Sendero Group has announced the release of version 4.0 of its GPS software for BrailleNote products. Sendero GPS 4.0 boasts 50 changes, including improved maps, faster route calculations, and the ability to switch to other BrailleNote tasks and quickly return to GPS with a few keystrokes. To read about the features or to obtain purchasing information, phone Sendero Group at 530-757-6800 or visit the web site <www.mysendero.com>.

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Copyright © 2007 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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