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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 May 2012 Issue  Volume 13  Number 5

Letters to the Editor

Dear AccessWorld,

First, I want to say thank you for creating the AccessWorld app; I find it extremely useful and convenient.

Second, I recently read Janet Ingber's April article, What is This?: A Review of the VizWiz, Digit-Eyes, and LookTel Recognizer Apps for the iPhone, and I think it would have been useful for the article to have included Omoby. I use this app to look at objects not just in the home, but [also] when I am travelling outdoors.

I am a long cane user, and I have used Omoby creatively to tell me what is around my outdoor environment. For example, when I am travelling through my public park area, I am able to find out what is around me such as grassy areas, flower beds, and trees. This is because our environment is made up of products. I can then build my own mental map independently.

I was in France recently and found Omoby was able to tell me an area had yellow flowers, verified by my wife. Omoby recognized and reported a MacDonald's, and when I crossed the Loire River, I took a picture from the bridge, and the app accurately reported a river as the object recognized. As a tool for self-discovery, Omoby is excellent. It can be used for recognizing bar codes and paper currency, in addition to recognizing packaged foods and clothing.

Omoby is a very useful and intuitive app AccessWorld readers may want to check out.

Regards
Wayne

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I would like to thank Janet Ingber for her April article, What is This?: A Review of the VizWiz, Digit-Eyes, and LookTel Recognizer Apps for the iPhone. I thought it was very complete and well written. However, just a couple of days ago, there was an update to Digit-Eyes that includes a price reduction.

Nancy Miracle sent the following message to the VIPhone Users List:

Many of our users have asked for more data about products -- content, preparation instructions, etc.

We are delighted to announce several changes in Digit-Eyes:

  1. After a successful scan, Digit-Eyes will now display the extended information about the product. Depending on what the manufacturer discloses, this may include ingredients, preparation instructions and more. Furthermore, you still have the ability to search Google with a single click or to access price comparison engines with one click.
  2. The product can now be purchased as separate elements. If you only want to read code 3-of-9 inventory labels, the cost is just $1.99. If you want to create and record audio labels (washable or printed), the cost is $9.99. If you want just the UPC / EAN feature, that is $9.99 as well.
  3. The price of the entire product suite is reduced to $19.99 for all features. If you already own the product, the upgrade to include extended information is free.

We've also added the ability to use the "shake" gesture to start and stop recording and added an option to fast forward through a recording. Is this useful? Not all of the 26 million items in the database have extended information, but many do and the database grows daily! Using the "more information" feature to scan our favorite object in the lab pool (a can of spam), we were able to find that the Spam is supposed to be cut into six slices. Each slice has 180 calories, 140 of which are from fat.

The instructions from the folks at Hormel, however, seem a little incomplete. Their preparation instructions recommend frying the Spam, but don't say at what point in the process you should contact your cardiologist. At any rate, it is nice that you can now find all this out with a single click after scanning with Digit-Eyes.

I thought this would be important information for AccessWorld to share with its readers.

Best regards,
Richard

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

I am writing in response to Deborah Kendrick's April article entitled Product Evaluation: BrailleNote Apex from HumanWare.

I use the BrailleNote Apex, BT version, and one feature not mentioned in the article was being able to place the unit in "Deep sleep" mode which helps conserve battery life. I don't believe any other note taker has this feature.

I also think the keyboard is too noisy. While the touch is wonderfully light, I think it makes more noise than does the BrailleSense.

Great article!!!

Regards,
Michael

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

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