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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

As CES wraps up…

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There are just a couple of other items I want to share from CES. I did get a chance to play with the Fleksy keypad from Syntellia. As many know, this is an app for Android and iOS that allows text input using a touchscreen keyboard using the relative position of your finger touches to mimic the qwerty keyboard. In other words, you start typing where you think the letters are, and Fleksy fills in what it thinks you're typing. It works quite well and I found the learning curve to be very short. I can see why so many users are finding this popular. One serious drawback is that you can't use Fleksy directly in the iOS email. Instead, you enter what you want to type and paste it into an email.

Bone conduction headphones are gaining in popularity. With these headphones, the speakers sit just in front of your ears and the sound is conducted through your cheekbones into your inner ear. This means that it's easier to hear noise around you as your ears aren't blocked. Excellent if you're using headphones while you walk around. Aftershockz is a popular brand of these and I did have a chance to test them out at their booth. I also neglected to mention before that Panasonic is developing a bone conducting headphone.

If you haven't heard of 3-d printing, you should go find out about it. There was quite a buzz around CES about 3-d printing, even the Commissioners of the Federal communications Commission were talking about it as a highlight of the show. This kind of printing allows for making 3-dimension models of things. Consumer priced printers are coming on the market for $2,000 and under and typically these make models from plastic. I got a chance to see the Makerbot printer and touch some of the models they made. Very cool and very good tactile detail. I'm certain that 3-d printing is going to revolutionize teaching for blind people through the ability to create touchable models of nearly anything and all kinds of tactile maps.


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Assistive Technology
Conference Recaps
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