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Accessibility

DrumPants, the wireless device that converts your pants into a wearable MIDI controller and music sequencer, can now bring a different kind of music to the ears of those around you. Its creators have recently started a beta test program that uses DrumPants triggers (sensor strips that wirelessly connect to a control box) to control lights and doors and to give a voice to those who have none. People with injuries or disorders that limit their ability to speak can tap the trigger on their body or wheelchair to activate an app that reads out loud any customizable statements or text messages, thereby enabling them to communicate more effectively with others.

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Google Glass hasn't exactly set the world on fire – or, for that matter, even left beta status. But that doesn't mean there aren't still some cool potential uses for the headset. Today Glass has two big new apps: one that can turn it into a life-changing tool for the hearing-impaired, and another that, erm, helps movie theaters sell tickets. Read More
Games that are accessible to the blind are few and far between, and – aside from a handful of stellar exceptions like Somethin’ Else’s Papa Sangre series on iOS – those that do exist tend to be amateurish at best. But a recently-funded Kickstarter project (which still has a few days to go) aims to rectify the problem. Grail to the Thief harks back to classic adventure games like Zork, Day of the Tentacle, and Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, except that instead of text-only descriptions of twisty little passages and the like, it presents the entire game through audio. Read More
Building Trust International has announced the winners of its 2014 Moved To Care competition. The competition sought design solutions for providing healthcare to rural and isolated areas in Asia. The winning designs are a medical clinic on wheels and a clinic built from a retired shipping container. Read More
As modern cities grow more densely populated and available living space shrinks correspondingly, ensuring that space is maximized to its full potential is essential. One proposal for making the most of the space we have comes via Thailand-based company Apostrophe's Living in the City housing unit. Read More
Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new algorithm suitable for brain-implantable prosthetic systems, or “neuroprosthetics,” which increases the effectiveness of mind-controlled computer cursor movement to a degree that approaches the speed, accuracy and natural movement offered by a real arm. Read More
Nuance Communications has updated its leading speech-to-text application Dragon Dictate for Mac to version 3, and Gizmag goes hands-on to investigate whether it can finally offer software-based dictation which is both practical and appealing, when compared to manual typing. Read More
The QWERTY computer keyboard has proved to be a versatile design over the years, and whether you’re typing on an iPhone screen, or the chiclet keys prevalent on modern laptops, the experience is largely the same. However, typical keyboards aren’t generally all that easy to use one-handed or while walking, for example. For those kind of situations you may be better served with a glove called Gauntlet, which features a built-in one handed keyboard. Read More
Modern-day smartphones like those produced by Apple and Samsung have put a bunch of cool features into our pockets, turning the mere portable telephone into a computer, personal organizer, games console, and more besides. OwnFone, however, takes the opposite approach, offering an inexpensive, easy to use handset stripped down to the bare essentials. Read More
While much of the developed world has grown used to high-speed internet access, the majority of the African continent remains without reliable and affordable internet, placing modern communication staples like email firmly out of reach to most. However, Google has recently announced Gmail SMS, a new service available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, which brings Gmail to all cellphones capable of sending SMS text messages - no data connection required. Read More
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