Verizon’s Samsung Haven Cell Phone

March 29, 2011

Samsung does it again.

Article by Maurie Hill of AI Squared. Selected by Lauren Tappan.

I recently had the opportunity to check out the Samsung Haven cell phone which is more conducive for someone who is blind or low vision.  This phone does not have Bluetooth, a camera, GPS, or the internet, so if that’s a deal breaker then it’s not the phone for you.  But even just little things make the Haven more blind and low vision friendly than the LG.  For example, there are voice commands for checking the time (“Say Time”) and battery level (“Check Battery”).  If you have an aging memory like me, you’ll like that when you flip it open, it tells you the time and the function of the major buttons, “left soft key Menu, right soft key Contacts”.

My 7-year-old daughter taught me how to text message on my LG but it’s pointless because I can only read incoming text messages by placing the phone under my CCTV, defeating the purpose of having a portable pocket phone.  But because the Haven speaks text messages aloud in addition to menus, alerts, and digits, all its features are fully functional for a person who is blind or low vision.


Retinal Cells made from Stem Cells

March 28, 2011

Scientists at Georgetown Univ. have successfully fashioned adult stem cells into the kind of eye cells that fall victim to the onset of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.

But the researchers, from the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., stress that this was a preliminary move toward that goal, achieved solely in a laboratory setting. They say that numerous complex obstacles must be tackled before such newly created cells could be transplanted into diseased eyes.


Retinitis Pigmentosa Community on Facebook

March 28, 2011

The RP community now has a page on Facebook, a page dedicated to sufferers and awareness for Retinitis Pigmentosa, an hereditary eye condition.

Clinical Trial of Retinal Implants

March 28, 2011

Retina Implant, the developer of a subretinal implant for the visually impaired, has chosen Wills Eye Institute of Philadelphia, PA to be the lead site of the first clinical trial of the device in North America, the company announced in a news release.

Retina Implant’s proprietary technology will be evaluated in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, the release said.

Kinect Game Controller for X-Box 360 aids the Visually Impaired

March 25, 2011

Kinect Used To Help the Visually Impaired
|  from the kitchen-sink-peripherals dept.
|  posted by Soulskill on Thursday March 24, @06:52 (Hardware Hacking)

Zothecula writes “The decidedly low tech white cane is still one of the
most commonly used tools to help the visually impaired get around without
bumping into things. Now, through their project called [0]NAVI
(Navigation Aids for the Visually Impaired), students at Germany’s
Universität Konstanz have leveraged the 3D imaging capabilities of
Microsoft’s Kinect camera to [1]detect objects that lie outside a cane’s
small radius and alert the wearer to the location of obstacles through
audio and vibro-tactile feedback.” In addition, Kinect is being used to “[2]manipulate
medical images during surgery without having to leave the operating room
and scrub back in,” and in [3]more artistic ways as well.

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Accessibility Features for All Google Products

March 17, 2011

How to use the Accessibility features in Android phones, the Google Chrome browser, Gmail, Google Docs, Google eBooks, Google Maps, Google Search, etc.

Depending on the product, features include text-to-speech, screen magnification, color choice, contrast control, default font size, etc.

Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment reports

March 14, 2011

Here are detailed reports on Retinitis Pigmentosa treatments currently in development.