Archive for September 12th, 2012

Best 7 iPhone Apps for the Visually Impaired

Eyesight is truly a blessing. For those who suffer from any kind of vision impairment, it often gets very difficult to carry out their daily activities without assistance, often making them dependent on others. Apple has introduced some exceptional applications using its VoiceOver technology for its iPhone, iPads and iPods that are specifically designed to assist visually impaired people in carrying out their day-to-day activities independently.

Here are the top 7 iPhone apps that are designed for people experiencing any kind of vision impairment:
1. Navigon MobileNavigator

Using the latest Navteq map, Navigon’s MobileNavigator turns your iPhone into a complete mobile navigation system. It provides text-to-speech guidance and has an easy Take-Me-Home function to guide you. It also integrates with the contact details in the address book of your iPhone. In case you receive a phone call during its use, the system will resume automatically once the call ends. The application also offers enhanced navigation for pedestrians, a turn-by-turn route list and location sharing via email feature.
2. Visible Braille

Visible Braille is a self-instruction tutorial for those wishing to learn Braille easily. It conveniently translates English letters into Braille alphabets and saves a side-by-side image of these alphabets. The application has a built-in Help section and self-quizzes to facilitate the users. The application is highly useful for learning Braille letters and phrases.
3. LookTel Money Reader

LookTel Money Reader is an extremely helpful application which instantly recognizes currency in denominations. You can simply point your iPhone camera towards the bill and the app will recognize and inform you about its denomination. This is highly useful for visually impaired people in identifying and counting their bills. The app supports many currencies including the U.S. Dollar, the Euro and the British Pound, and provides VoiceOver support for more than 15 languages.
4. Color Identifier

This application enables you to recognize different colors to an absolute specific shade. You can point your iPhone camera towards an object and the application will recognize and speak out loud its color. Another free application, Color ID is also offered by the same company which is designed for identifying just the basic colors. This application can help the visually impaired people in organizing their clothing or gauge their surroundings and for color-blind people to recognize different colors.
5. SayText

SayText is a free application which scans the text of any document or image and then reads it out loud. All you have to do is point the camera of your phone towards the document and hold it. The application will also tell you if the complete document is in view or not through a beep. Then it will automatically scan the text and you can hear it easily once the scanning is done. This can be very helpful for reading bills, menus, medical forms and documents.
6. Learning Ally

This app provides easy access to the Learning Ally’s library that contains more than 70,000 audio books for schools and college-level textbooks. To run this application, you first need a membership to Learning Ally. The application lets you download these books and play them at your convenience. The app also offers navigation through page number or chapters, electronic bookmarks and an adjustable playback speed.
7. TalkingTag LV

TalkingTag is an app that allows you to label and recognize different items. You can label these items by using stickers of different QR codes and feeding a 1-minute audio message about each label. Then you can just point your phone camera at the stickers at a later time and your phone will read out the audio message out loud, enabling you to identify the object. This can help vision impaired people in differentiating between identical CDs, boxes or even jam jars conveniently.

For those looking for quality eye products, remember to always buy them from trustworthy retailers like GetLenses. You can buy Air Optix Aqua here at a much better bargain than anywhere else.

Carrying out their day-to-day activities is now relatively easier for visually impaired people. These few assisting applications for iPhone and iPads can help them in managing their daily procedures easily. There are a number of other applications that are also very beneficial for impaired people that are supported by iPhone.

For those who have any partial vision impairment problem, it is very essential that they take good care of their eye health. It is very important to choose quality eye products, for example you can buy Air Optix Aqua here which are very high-quality lenses. Small preventive measures are very necessary to maintain eye health.

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Review: Samsung Galaxy Beam

Cost: Rs 29, 990

Rating: * * * *

Specifications: 1Ghz dual-core, 768MB RAM, 8GB + microSD, 4-inch touchscreen (800 x 480), 5MP rear/1.3MP front cam, Android 2.3, 145 grams

Positives: High-quality LED projector and decent Android smartphone in a not-too-bulky casing

Negatives: No tripod or stand included, sound doesn’t match the requirements, no cap for projector lens

NEW DELHI: A smartphone’s screen is way too small when you want to share a video or photo with friends. That’s why fitting a pico projector into a phone has been tried so many times with varying degrees of success.

The problem is that doing this considerably increases bulk and noticeably decreases battery life. Plus, all the projector phones available so far have been feature phones — not based on a smartphone operating system. The LED-based projection system has so far been more of a gimmick rather than a usable feature.

The Galaxy Beam is different though. It is India’s first smartphone with built in projector. Right at the outset, we think that the Beam is a good attempt at keeping things simple, attractive and making it perfectly usable as a day-to-day phone. That the projection quality is impressive is just icing on the cake.
Full Coverage on Apple’s new iPhone Look at it from the side and you won’t be able to tell that there’s a projector in there. The projector lens is on top of the phone, covered by a glass panel (but there is no lens cap). It has a total brightness of 15 lumens and a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels. These numbers may not seem that impressive, but you need to consider that we’re talking about a phone that weighs just 145 grams and is just 12.5mm thick. Under the right conditions (with low ambient lighting and with a flat white surface), the phone can project an image up to 50-inchs in size (diagonal size). Interestingly, the projector can also double up as a flashlight — one that projects a perfectly rectangular lightbeam and in your choice of colour.

To start the projector up, you need to press the dedicated button on the side of the phone. It starts up almost immediately and you can proceed to adjust the various settings, starting with the focus and orientation (landscape or portrait).

A nice bedside stand is included in the box, which also serves as a charger for an additional battery. The battery life when using it as a phone is roughly a day or two. Running it solely as a projector, you should get about three and a half hours of use.

Two of our main complaints with the Beam are that it does not come with a stand, tripod or mount of any kind for projector use. You’ll have to figure out a way to prop it up to get the ideal height and angle to display on a wall. And secondly, the loudspeaker is far too feeble to be of any use when you’re using it as a projector. To use it with multimedia, you will necessarily need some sort of external powered speaker system (either a wired or Blueooth speaker will do).

It boils down to this — as a phone, you’re not getting the best spec there is — but it is the best projector phone out there. If you prefer to keep things separate, you could get a standalone projector like 3M’s MP180 (Rs 29,990) which can project videos or photos from internal memory or micro SD card and a separate Android smartphone.

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Smart TVs: How Do They Work?

What makes a Smart TV so smart? The simple answer is connectivity! Today the world has become so connected that it seems like it has shrunk. Everything is connected and integrated with every other thing, so how can your TV lag behind?

So now, there are Smart TVs or connected TVs which have virtually shrunk the whole world, making it fit into your living room and allowing you to access it through a single remote control.

So now you can have your standard cable services or specialized cable services like Latino Satelite along with an internet connectivity option, all available on a single platform.
The Smartness of Smart TVs

The Smart TV brings out all that was previously restricted to your laptop or PC to a bigger screen, allowing you to connect your television to the internet. Now you can access all those on-demand, special videos, available on the internet from a bigger screen rather than that of your tiny laptop.

If you find the advertisement during programs boring, you can watch a short video clip. If you find an advertisement interesting enough, you can instantly search for information on the website before you forget it! So even if you are watching TV, there is no wasted moment in your high-paced life.

More and more Smart TV applications are being introduced rapidly. You can connect to your social networking pages like Facebook and Twitter along with watching your favorite TV program. So now you can watch football and tweet about a goal all on the same interface and can stay connected with everyone in more ways than ever before.

You can also find Smart TVs that connect to gaming devices or your smartphones and tablets for a more personalized searching option.

Gone are the days when your TVs were a one-way communication devices where broadcasters talked and you could only listen. Your TV is now smart and it can talk back! It is not just entertainment anymore; it is interaction meeting convenience.
How Does It Work?

The same way as your Smartphone does! Just the way your phone has an operating system that makes it smart, so does a Smart TV. It has all the features of your traditional television, but it also runs an operating system that allows you to pre-load applications on your TV. You can get these applications either built-in within your TV or you can add them yourself.

The cheaper versions of Smart TVs don’t often offer a web browser, just a few pre-loaded applications. However, a reliable Smart TV will have browsing features, connecting you to the World Wide Web through your TV.

A Smart TV contains both in-built Wi-Fi connectivity and an Ethernet port to connect a modem or router which can be easily connected to your home internet connection. A suitable remote is provided with Smart TVs to help you navigate it. Some Smart TVs also allow you to use your smartphone as a remote control.
3 Best Smart TV Platforms

Although a lot of companies now have different forms of Smart TVs available, not all are worth your consideration and more importantly, your money. So here are the top 3 platforms that provide Smart TVs worth considering:
1. LG

LG offers by far the best user interface for its Smart TVs. It has exceptional internet experience, a remote which you can use by pointing and clicking and the option to download a free QWERTY keyboard app. The LG app store offers a variety of applications and games such as Facebook, YouTube and Napster etc and also offer web browsing.
2. Samsung

Apart from the general video streaming apps, Samsung also offer some unique video apps such as 3D Video on Demand via Explore 3D and social networking apps. It also offers a keyboard remote with its Smart TV.
3. Panasonic

Another notable Smart TV platform, Panasonic, offers all basic video-streaming apps with an additional third-party app store. It also includes Skype, a support system for USB gamepads and other gaming apps. It offers a standard remote with iOS and Android remote app available.

Smart TVs are the new big thing; everything you could possibly need in a TV and then some more! The Smart TV combines all the features you may want in an interactive interface. You can have cable service like Latino Satelite, applications like YouTube, a web browser, and social networking apps like Twitter and much more available on a single platform.

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