Instant 20/20 Adjustable Eyeglasses

September 9, 2013

Instant 20/20 glasses are supposed to help you see better by letting you dial the glasses to your preferred setting. The makers of Instant 20/20 claim that you just dial them in, and you can see instantly what you couldn’t before. They say they’re good for a multitude of situations, including watching TV, reading the newspaper or books, doing arts and crafts and other hobbies, sporting events, and more. 

They caution that these shouldn’t be used while driving and that these won’t help with astigmatism or macular degeneration.,

What is interesting is the ability to correct the acuity for each lens individually. That’s huge, as most of the time your vision will vary depending on the eye. That makes them better than pharmacy rack eyeglasses.

They cost $30 plus about $10 for shipping. There is even a money-back guarantee on the glasses, but not the shipping costs.

For more info:



iPhone Magnifier App with Image Stabilization for low vision people

September 7, 2013


We are improving an iPhone magnifier app we recently developed for visually impaired. It’s called SuperVision. The difference from the other apps is that it has image stabilization capability to address the image shaking problem.

A couple of unique features:
– Easy to activate stabilization. Just keep pressing the screen.
– Option to only stabilize vertically, allowing horizontal reading movement.

To download to your iPhone:

Turn your Cell Phone into a Digital Magnifier

September 5, 2013

This Magnifier will help you to see any small thing and to take a picture. It is very easy to use. This app is for free.

Android phone

It simulates a magnifying glass using the zoom of the camera (if it is available). In the devices that support the LED flash of the camera in mode torch, you will be able to use it as a flashlight or lantern to illuminate the thing that you are seeing. If camera has focus with mode “MACRO” you will be able to use it to have a high quality image. If it is needed, there are popup messages that inform you about the limitations of the features of your device

In devices with zoom x8 or higher we can say this is a high definition (HD) pocket microscope

Please, take into account that the quality of the image and the magnification level depend directly on the quality of the camera and its zoom because they are the lens of the magnifier.

The maximum zoom level depend on the device, some of them has no zoom or the zoom is not available to be managed by apps. In these cases the zoom will be “x1”

There are devices that have a camera application embedded that manages the zoom but this zoom is not available for other applications like this magnifier.

Ultra high digital quality implemented using a tiny amount of memory.

To download App:

Smartphone Apps for the Visually Impaired

August 24, 2013

This article is from Kim Komando:

SoundGecko (Free; iOS, Android) – This great app is a text-to-speech converter. Is there a news article or blog you want to read? No problem! SoundGecko reads it to you. It even sounds like a real person.

LookTel Money Reader ($10; iOS) – If you have trouble reading fine print on currency, this is the app for you. The LookTel Money Reader app identifies the currency in question, speaks the denominations and displays them in large print on the screen.

LookTel Recognizer ($10; iOS) – This is a must-have app for the visually impaired. LookTel Recognizer builds a personalized library of images for instant recognition. You can identify cans, packages, Credit and ID cards and other items with fine print. This app also includes a barcode scanner for extra efficiency.

Dragon Dictation (Free; iOS) – Is Siri giving you problems again? Don’t have Siri? You’re in luck, because Dragon Diction is a free voice recognition app. Easily create emails, texts, and notes with just your voice.

Umano (Free; iOS, Android) – This 5-star app is a newsreader for your smartphone or tablet. It will read articles from your favorite sites with little fuss. Similar to the KNFB Reader.

Skyvi (Free; Android) – Android users have another answer to Siri with this witty smartphone assistant. It can do everything from checking the weather to sending emails to searching the web. Just tell it what you want to do.

For more info:

Meavista – Check your vision on your PC for Macular Degeneration

September 6, 2011

The MEAVISTA program is based on the Amsler Grid with additional advanced functions. It helps to check and monitor your vision for symptoms of Macular Degeneration (MD) and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Symptoms are the presence of blurred areas and distorted view of objects. The Amsler Grid used in the MEAVISTA program is available with 3 different optional backgrounds.

After easy installation to your computer, this program helps to

– check your vision for the presence of a blurred area or an area with curved lines

– create an outline around a blurred area or an area with curved lines

– see the display of the previously performed check

– see changes and update the outline of an affected area

– see statistics of performed checks

An affected area can be marked with red dots and a blue outline that helps to see future changes of the affected area. This outline can easily be modified and updated according to any changes of the affected area.

Please note that this program does not replace an official eye test or eye exam. For eye tests or eye exams you must contact an eye physician.

Wonderful Low Vision Library in Cape Cod

July 4, 2011

The following article is by Lauren Tappan:

 If anyone is traveling to Cape Cod this summer, you might consider stopping in at the Harwich Mass Brooks Free Library at 739 Main Street. Their phone number is (508) 430-7562. They have an area entitled “Vision Impaired Technology Assistance” at the library that is extraordinarily impressive.
Carla Burke is a paid staff member who has not only organized a weekly low vision support group, an impressive outlay of pamphlets and written resource material, but also has an incredible display of AT equipment. They have the SARA, a computer with ZoomText and Jaws, a CCTV, and a Kurzweil and a computer set up with the Guide program. They also have individuals that are volunteer readers as well as individuals that will provide AT assistance.
Along with all of this, they have an AT Loan Program which is called the Assistive Technology Exchange inNew England program. I believe they also have a KNFB reader for interested individuals. I was extremely impressed with the welcoming atmosphere and cooperation from the volunteers and staff.
    This is the first time that I have located a library that has this active and extensive amount of resources for individuals with low vision.

Google plans to add Speech Recognition to Search

June 30, 2011

This article is from Gail Johnson:

Technology Review - Published by MIT

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can Google Get Web Users Talking?

Voice-driven search is a futuristic idea, and may take some getting used to.

Tom Simonite

Audio:  Audio | |

Credit: Google

The notion of asking a computer for information out loud is familiar to most of us only from science fiction. Google is trying to change that by adding speech recognition to its search engine, and releasing technology that would allow any browser, website, or app to use the feature.

But are you ready to give up your keyboards and talk to Google instead?

Over the last two weeks, speech input for Google has gradually been rolled out to every person using Google’s Chrome browser. A microphone icon appears at the right end of the iconic search box. If you have a microphone built-in or attached to your computer, clicking that icon creates a direct audio connection to Google’s servers, which will convert your spoken words into text.

It has been possible to speak Google search queries using a smart phone for almost three years; since last year, Android handsets have been able to take voice input in any situation where a keyboard would normally be used. “That was transformational, because people stopped worrying about when they could and couldn’t speak to the phone,” says Vincent Vanhoucke, who leads the voice search engineering team at Google. Over the last 12 months, the number of spoken inputs, search or otherwise, via Android devices has climbed six times, and every day, tens of thousands of hours of audio speech are fed into Google’s servers. “On Android, a large fraction of the use is people dictating e-mail and SMS,” says Vanhoucke.

Vanhoucke’s team now wants using voice on the Web to be as easy as it is on Android. “It’s a big bet,” he says. “Voice search for desktop is the flagship for this, [but] we want to take speech everywhere.”

Voice recognition is more technically challenging on a desktop or laptop computer, says Vanhoucke, because it requires noise suppression algorithms that are not needed for mobile speech recognition. These algorithms filter out sounds such as those of a computer’s fan or air conditioners. “The quality of the audio is paramount for phone manufacturers, and you hold it close to your mouth,” says Vanhoucke. “On a PC, the microphone is an afterthought, and you are further away. You don’t get the best quality.”

Google asked thousands of people to read phrases aloud to their computers to gather data on the conditions its speech recognition technology would have to handle. As people use the service for real, it is trained further, says Vanhoucke, which should increase its popularity. Data from users of mobile voice search shows that people are much more likely to use the feature again when it is accurate for them the first time.

A bigger challenge to getting users to embrace voice recognition on the desktop could be the existing tools for entering information, saysKeith Vertanen, a lecturer at Princeton University who researches voice-recognition technology. “On the desktop, you’re up against a very fast and efficient means of input in the keyboard,” he says. “On a phone, you don’t have that available, and you are often in hands- or eyes-free situations where voice input really helps.”

Vertanen says people are less tolerant of glitches when using speech recognition on a desktop computer because of the close proximity of a tried-and-true way of entering text. He says users might find voice recognition more compelling on on other Internet-connected devices in the home. “Nonconventional devices like a DVR, television, or game console don’t usually have good text input,” he points out. Google TV devices can already take voice input spoken into a connected Android phone.

Vanhoucke acknowledges that speech recognition fulfills a more immediate need on phones, but argues that users are ready for it on conventional computers, too. “People will use it in ways that surprise us,” he says. “At this point, it’s still an experiment.” Situations when people may have their hands full is one example, says Vanhoucke (although it should be noted that desktop voice search today still involves using the mouse to activate the feature).

Google isn’t performing this experiment alone. The company is pushing the Web standards body W3C to introduce a standard set of HTML markup that allows any website or app to call on voice recognition via the Web browser, and has already enabled a version of this markup in the Chrome browser. For now, Google is the only major company with a browser able to use the prototype feature, but Mozilla, Microsoft, and AT&T are all working with the W3C effort.

“It’s a collaborative effort that other browser makers are part of,” says Vanhoucke. “Any designer can add it to their Web page. It’s something anyone can use.” Extensions for the Chrome browser that make use of voice input (like this one) have already appeared, and can be used to enter text on any website.

However, those extensions reveal that although Google’s desktop speech recognition is accurate for search queries, it’s not much good for tasks like composing e-mail.

Enabling the system to learn the personal quirks of each person’s pronunciation, a feature already enabled on Android phones, could address that. Vertanen points out that the personalization learned through mobile search could easily be ported over to the desktop for people logged into their Google account. It could also make it possible for the technology to spring up elsewhere. “The advantage of Google’s networked approach is that a [speech] model in the cloud can adapt to your voice in all these different places and follow you around, whether that’s in your living room or in your car.”