Monday, November 18, 2013

Nexus 7 Contest

Google Nexus has a contest that is going to give away Nexus 7's and $50 Google play vouchers to randomly selected people who have submitted photos of 'What Matters to you' in which a photo shows the stuff that matters relating to Android with a specific disinterest in brand names.  I did a photo of my workstation but it is quite unimpressive. I submitted anyways knowing that there is a randomness to the selection.  I am unsure who is really doing the contest so Google it yourself if you want to enter.  Here is the link I used Here is the photo I submitted.

Android for people that need a little help.

I bought my Down's Syndrome disabled nephew an Android dual core tablet from Walmart for $79 and gave it to him for his birthday.  We had a wonderful hangout for his birthday with three Android tablets  locally and guests as far away as Belarus and Michigan (I think it is somewhere near Belarus). The party was sheer pandemonium with almost everyone new to the concept of hangouts. The only really experienced ones were my relatives from Minsk Belarus.  My brother made a nice stand for my nephew's tablet computer and he has already become quite 'casual' when he hangs out now. It was truly funny the first time my nephew hung out with his grandmother because he was literally speechless. All he could do is stare with wonder at the screen.  Unfortunately, he didn't readily grasp the fact that he was also being 'seen' at the same time (had to be told to keep his thumb off of the camera). The stand that my brother built fixed everything.  It may have created a sound issue because of the location of the speaker being on the back of the tablet. I will be visiting for Thanksgiving so I will evaluate the situation then. Here is a photo of the birthday boy the day after his party.

Tactile Aid for the Visually Impaired

I discovered one problem that visually impaired people have when using a Android tablet is that they lack any guidance as to where the 'key' locations are on the tablet. Even though the accessibility option in Android speaks the location when your finger is touching a key it is not enjoyable to fumble all over the screen listening to keys you don't want to hit. I developed a simple solution. I used a paper punch and the the thin foil duct tape found in most hardware stores in order to make tactile feedback at the edge of the screen areas. so if you are visually impaired you can easily feel your way to the menu buttons.  Easy Peasy! I put a matte screen protector on first (not so Easy Peasy).  The bottom line is that it works fine. I can close my eyes and feel my way right to the 'Home' or other buttons. Please notice the slight offset to the 'All Apps' button in the middle on the right.  The following photo shows it in use under a CCTV camera.

White Cane Safety Day

 Well this is my new blog dedicated to the stuff that I am working on with Android. So here are some pictures from the White cane safety day that I attended at the Milwaukee VA. The highlight of the adventure was that I could try the ultrasonic cane for the blind. It worked nice but it is very expensive. I hope to use a rfDuino and Bluetooth Low Energy to experiment with a more robust aid that is more affordable.