Mixed reality systems

Project Tango seemed like a revelation a couple of years ago, a system that could do 3D mapping of enviroments in a small package. Now with the demands of inside out tracking for gaming we are starting to see other products hit the market.
I still feel this technology has a long way to go, eventually being shrunk down to a sensor that is as small if not smaller than today’s front facing phone cameras. Once we arrive at that point we enter the realm of discrete technology that is capable of augmenting reality in interesting ways.
I really see this being a product that is immensely helpful for the assistive technology arena. I will definitely be shaping the future of such products.

Mixed reality systems

Windows running on ARM

Exciting news from Microsoft that future versions of windows will run on ARM. Perhaps even more impressive it will emulate 32-bit x86, there is even a demo of Photoshop running on a Qualcomm 820.
If Microsoft can really improve the Narrator as has been mentioned recently this could be a great unification across all their devices. Not to mention it may instantly solve their lack of apps on mobile, opening the door for a Surface mobile phone.
Windows 10 to run on ARM

Computer vision for the blind

With computer vision rapidly improving, it was only a matter of time before we began to see head mounted computer vision systems. Horus, has a unique approach in that it doesn’t rely on connectivity for the visual processing. That means it will even work when the data connection is down. It covers some interesting basics of computer vision for the blind, reading and facial recognition for example. It does however, suffer from what i always conside the ultimate pitfall in these products. it was designed specifically for the blind, meaning the cost is high, as the market is small. 
There is definitely space for a head mounted digital assistant. So with a little shift in the market this product could be aimed at a wider spectrum bringing down the cost. Therefore, making it highly accessible.
However, this is a wonderful step forward and I am looking forward to seeing where products like this go. read more

Object avoidance for the blind

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After running into a flagpole in the Namibian desert and a burnt out car on the streets of Doncaster, I decided it was time to work on object detection. My previous challenges had all utilized very simple systems and i wanted to stay within that simple communication paradigm for object detection.

Learning to train solo as a blind runner used two very simple inputs, distance and feeling underfoot. Combined these inputs allowed me to learn to train solo along a 5 mile route. Objects were identified by me running into them and memorising where they were from an audible distance marker. I had reduced blind navigation to two simple elements and that was enough to run. With one, well 2 keyassumptions, 1. I knew where all the obstacles were and 2. There would be no new obstacles. I knew these assumptions were flawed, but i was happy to take on the risk. read more

The iPhone, Twitter and Night Mode

Night mode was brought to Android Twitter last month, so it was only a matter of time before it landed on the iPhone. I believe Apple could take this one step further though. I would like to see night mode an OS level option. With apps having alternative themes for night mode that are triggered as you toggle Night Mode in the OS. This would be far simpler than toggling it in a per app basis. I would say it’s likely Apple may introduce this in 2017, to pair with the OLED screen, simple because it will improve battery life.
http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/13/12465362/twitter-night-mode-iphone-apple-ios

Microsoft Improving Inclusivity through Dark Theming

I list dark themes as one of the key inclusive design decisions next to dynamic font sizing. It’s great to see Microsoft heading in this direction and perhaps even adding a second dark theme.
I am unsure why the retina burning white backgrounds has held strong for so long. After all everyone uses their phones in dimly lit environments where dark themes mark perfect sense.
Would love to see this in Mac OS as well as iOS in the near future. With the transition to OLED screens that is highly likely.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/why-a-dark-grey-theme-would-make-sense-in-windows-10-507249.shtml

A leap forward in indoor navigation

Continuing down the indoor navigation topic. Google’s Project Tango, now named Tango is finally reaching a consumer ready version.
I saw this as the first consumer grade product that could have fantastic implications for indoor navigation for the VI. It has the ability to 3D map a room, which could then be used to assist someone’s navigation. The fact this is now in a consumer ready model is very encouraging, a proof of concept app could easily make it onto the Google Play store now.

This Is The First Project Tango Phone, Shipping In September For $500