Adaptive technology

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bhtooefr
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Adaptive technology

Post by bhtooefr » Tue May 27, 2014 7:23 pm

So I thought we could use a thread for discussing various adaptive technologies (for whatever disabilities). Braille displays, speech synthesis/recognition, hearing aids, prosthetics, etc., etc.

Let's talk about braille displays first.

Essentially, right now, they're horrendously expensive - right now, a 32 character 1 line display is about $2600, it looks like: http://www.humanware.com/en-usa/product ... ation.html.

So, how about technologies to make them cheaper, or bigger?

I saw this display on The Verge: http://vimeo.com/95723855 Obviously it's not a braille display in its current form, but it looks like an interesting low-cost technology that could be adapted to making a 1-line braille display. Very few actuators needed, there.

As far as multi-line goes, pgdsouza on YouTube has some interesting ideas (the videos ramble on, but he eventually gets to an interesting point): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk-fXu ... mqc23hriSA
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by dewelar » Tue May 27, 2014 7:35 pm

Not sure if this is where you are headed with this, but...

From personal experience, a lot of adaptive technology for the blind/visually impaired is quite expensive. However, for students and for those in a program to help them find a job (although, somewhat disturbingly, not for those who have actually been on the job for some time, at least in some states), costs for equipment is often picked up by government agencies. In the U.S., this varies from state to state, so where I live currently (Florida) offers much less help than where I lived before this (Massachusetts).
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by bhtooefr » Tue May 27, 2014 7:43 pm

That is one angle I was getting at, yes, regarding the high cost (which I suspect is partially because of the "hey, there's assistance programs" factor, although from my understanding of how current braille display hardware works, it's generally horrendously high labor and cost). Low volume doesn't help, but with a lack of pressure to innovate, and a steady source of funds that will pay without asking how much it costs (never mind that that's a short-sighted view, because high-cost hardware means potentially downsizing those projects, and never mind areas that avoid creating those projects or make them smaller scale (like you mention), or countries that simply can't afford such technology)...

But, really, the idea is in general discussing adaptive technologies - what's out there now (I don't have direct experience with any adaptive technologies other than glasses, which are a pretty weaksauce one, and my case is a bit strange anyway (in that I need them because of my right eye, but having to correct both eyes when you correct one means that my left eye functions better than 20/10 with glasses on)), "hey, this would be a neat technology to use as an adaptive technology", cost-reducing them, etc., etc.

Another stupid idea I've thought of for a stationary display, although heat and power consumption is an issue... use a variation on the Linotype approach for casting lines of Braille in wax, and then after the wax has cooled some, raise it into the display. When a line is pushed off the top off the display, it gets pushed into the wax reservoir and melted down (where it then gets fed back to the casting mechanism). Basically, it'd be a form of braille printer, but reusing the print medium. Alternately, print dots of wax onto a substrate that scrolls up, and scrape the wax off and into the reservoir when it scrolls off the top.
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by metalangel » Tue May 27, 2014 7:53 pm

Image

Getting a good seat for the 'curing deafness' shitstorm which just started a-brewin'.

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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by bhtooefr » Tue May 27, 2014 7:54 pm

I'll just note that if someone doesn't want an adaptive technology, they shouldn't be required to use it. If someone is deaf and wishes to hear (potentially someone who could at one time hear, but their hearing degraded or was damaged, for instance?), technology to enable that is not a bad thing. If they don't wish to hear, then that's their wish and it should be respected.

And, there's possibly other adaptive technologies that could come into play for the deafness situation, as aids to assist a deaf person to interact in an environment that's dependent on sound (again, if they so desire), even without curing deafness. I'll note that, technically, the flashing strobe light on a fire alarm is a sort of adaptive technology - it exists because of concerns that deaf people wouldn't be able to hear a fire alarm, and would be put at danger.
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by brythain » Tue May 27, 2014 8:02 pm

There's a list here, and although the cost looks high, it's not prohibitively so for a first-world implementation. In other words, about as expensive as any assistive technology required only by a few. Like a car, perhaps.
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metalangel
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by metalangel » Tue May 27, 2014 10:05 pm

brythain, you want to replace those 'b' tags with 'url'.

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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by brythain » Tue May 27, 2014 10:12 pm

metalangel wrote:brythain, you want to replace those 'b' tags with 'url'.
Right! What on earth was I thinking?! :)
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by Atario » Tue May 27, 2014 11:04 pm

metalangel wrote:Getting a good seat for the 'curing deafness' shitstorm which just started a-brewin'.
Ctrl + F "cure" — Phrase not found

Ctrl + F "deaf" — Phrase not found

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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by linkoid » Wed May 28, 2014 1:01 am

Umg, what happened to "Blind can hear, deaf can see?" Blind have talking computers, Deaf can read and sign.

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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by SpunkySix » Wed May 28, 2014 1:24 am

linked wrote:Blind have talking computers
I immediately thought of Lilly when I accidentally activated that feature on my laptop once.
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by linkoid » Wed May 28, 2014 1:47 am

SpunkySix wrote:
linked wrote:Blind have talking computers
I immediately thought of Lilly when I accidentally activated that feature on my laptop once.
That was in the Too much KS thread :lol:

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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by SpunkySix » Wed May 28, 2014 2:19 am

linkoid wrote:
SpunkySix wrote:
linked wrote:Blind have talking computers
I immediately thought of Lilly when I accidentally activated that feature on my laptop once.
That was in the Too much KS thread :lol:
Yeah, I found it relevant there too. A bit too much Katawa in my noggin.
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by AaronIsCrunchy » Wed May 28, 2014 6:48 am

SpunkySix wrote:
linked wrote:Blind have talking computers
I immediately thought of Lilly when I accidentally activated that feature on my laptop once.
Haha, me too :P thoughitmightnothavebeenaccidental
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Re: Adaptive technology

Post by Forever_ambivalent » Wed May 28, 2014 8:18 am

Oh so that's what my friend carries around with her everywhere. I was always wondering what it was but I kept on forgetting to ask :?
Looks like being blind can be really expensive. brail printers and paper are extremely expensive as well.
I never knew my friend carried around something worth so much. Although fortunately nobody ever uses her blindness against her.

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