Saturday, March 25, 2006

More Quick Bits From CSUN

Again I let everyone know that speeling is going to be bad because I am writing from a friend’s laptop. Here’s some more of what we saw so far..


The company has not changed their line up per say, however, they did have a change in color due to a new set of monitors that came from their distributor. The monitor cowlings had the company sport a new look. The unit themselves are still as solid as ever though. If you’re an old school CCTV user then these are still the units that you would generally gravitate to for your daily use.

GW Micro:

I spent some time with Window Eyes and Vista. Okay I mostly drooled over Vista. Alright I mostly panicked over Vista. The system was set for Arrow Express, Windows Classic, so I didn’t get to play with any eye candy. I did, however, see that you can’t back space hotkey to the route drive in a folder view. I could see the desktop but I could not get to My Computer or Profiles like you can currently do in XP. There’s a setting where you can do this from what I read but I was nice and I left their machine alone.

I did though try MSCONFIG from the Run dialog box and it came up with new options. And doing Windows plus Scrl Lock brought up something not exactly like a System Properties box. I was unclear about what did come up and the floor was packed making it hard to hear the system clearly. So the rumors about most hotekeys still working seem to be true. What they do now may be the new mystery. The current performance of Window Eyes was great though. I had no problems or dragging of performance when I did my tour with Window Eyes running. I imagine JFW is at the same level of performance as well but I didn’t get a chance to see their unit at their booth. I was too busy playing with the Opal that day.

The truly awesome thing at the GW Micro booth was the Small Talk. Chris Park, who came over from Himes, was instrumental in the US release of this cool little device. I will break it down in more detail later but just think of a full PDA with embedded Windows XP running Window Eyes on a 30 gig hard drive. The remarkable thing though was that you could take the unit’s stylus around the large, okay six inches may not be so large, display and the mouse would move.. without you touching the stylus to the surface of the display. Even better yet Window Eyes would speak controls and other text as you moused over them. We were even told that Zoom Text could be loaded and it too would function with the moving of the mouse-tracking. It’s a real trip but it’s near 2,800 bucks. More on this later though as it was a real star of the show.


Version 10.6 is on it’s way. And some will be happy to know that one of it’s biggest improvements comes in an update to it’s registration and authorization process. We were told that the company uses a third party program for this feature and it was having some difficulty with Raid arrays and other hardware configurations. The other big feature in this release will come in an “undo” tool.


We stopped by and talked to them for a bit but nothing is on the horizon for K1000 beyond a few more patches. Honestly this current release will be hard to top and the company has slowed down on a release schedule anyways.

Vision Technologies or VTI:

We saw the new VTI Select. Think of the base of the View but different. The Select has a monitor on an arm which can be repositioned to meet your needs. The camera base it’s self is a modified standard unit that allows you to move the camera into all sorts of positions. So it’s more like a Flipper than say an EVS Acrobat.

The other thing we noticed was that the general 1800 was connected to a plain jane Akai widescreen LCD.. and it looked fantastic. This company’s systems can really be hampered by the wrong display monitor that’s for sure as we were stunned by the clearity of the unit on this monitor you can find real cheap at Sam’s Wholesale.

The new VTI units also are shipping with a new feature. The VPs, I think that’s right, is the new “Video Positioning System”. It’s a neat way of saying that you can move the unit’s camera up and down with a knob on the face of the unit.. without moving your X-Y table. Also the units now have the red view locator light that has been on Optelec machines for years.


The unit I most wanted to see was hard to find. I thought, as per the press release, that I would find it at GW Micro’s table. But off in one of the smaller rooms I found the international distributors for Himes with the Sense View line… and boy howdy is it worth the time to see these devices.

The hand held version of the Sense View is now my new fave in this emerging line of CCTv units. It’s small, easy to see and just plain amazing looking. Okay it’s a nice wide screen with digital zoom, false colors, screen capture and a mysterious expansion slot to be used for other stuff to be named later. All for around 825 dollars US. It ships in June in the UK and a US distributorship is still being developed from what I understood. I will go on and on about this thing in more detail later on but let me say that this unit does all the things that the Amigo does but this one fits in your shirt pocket discreetly and at half the cost as well.

The desktop line of units are no slouches either. The split screen units boast 35 false color options and a beautiful display on LCD monitors. The controls may look a little Fisher Price like but you have a true tactile feel that you moved a control with each sporting a different shape or feedback when used. Those guys in Korea surely came out on fire last year with the Braille Sense and now it looks like lightning is going to strike twice with these new CCTV units.

Well I have more on tap including some more detailed descriptions of what we saw. But for now I have to start packing for the long flight back. I honestly never had a desire to travel to LA before this trip. But after being here and experiencing the “LA Vibe” I can understand why this city is sooo huge. I think it would be cool to come back and explore this place outside of the CSUN craziness sometime and that’s a big remark coming from a guy like me.

1 comment:

BothXP said...

Damn !!

I wish I'd found your blog earlier. I'm currently updating the assistive software/hardware provision for my work place. We've got around 35,000 users so I've got a lot to cover.

I'm definitely going to spend Monday moring having a very good read through.