Thursday, July 19, 2007

Random Goodness: Victor Stream, Voice Sense, Topaz, Clearview And KNFB Reader

The post convention season is always a busy one for me as the new product is either shown to us before or right after the shows. And in some cases we get our hands on a unit for evaluations so we are set for the product's launch at the same time it is debuting at convention. Here's a brief run down of some of the neat stuff I got to fondle in the last two weeks.

Victor Stream: It's small, it's sleek and it's the next on the list behind that Creative Zen Stone for purchase I think. All jokes aside I am really impressed with the feel of the Stream. I can see myself using it for so many formats and I think it's a lot better than say the Milestone 311. Okay the Milestone is going after a different audience but at $329 for the Stream I have to look at them both in the same light. I know one of my friends, here's that peer pressure thing again, will but one soon. So I imagine I will have more to say about this little guy by default. I mean my friend has to leave her office or turn her back at some point right? And then I will strike! Here's the link to the Humanware product page for the Victor Stream..

Voice Sense: I saw this little guy back at CSUN and I have to say I am still impressed. Light, small and it fits into a shirt pocket with no trouble at all. The Wireless G built in is one of the fastest solutions out there for internal connections and the transfer speeds are pretty good as well via bluetooth. And who will balk at a removable rechargeable battery option now a' days? Check out the product page from GW Micro's site to learn more..

Topaz: Freedom Scientific's line of Video Magnifiers has gotten a few tweaks since their original release almost two years ago. The firmware has been updated, the lights are now LED based and now another good addition comes in the form of a new front panel which sports a knob for contrast adjustment. In previous units you had to use a button as a toggle to move a slider up or down on an on screen menu. You could easily have people not knowing if they were moving things in the right direction or forgetting which direction the gauge was moving when they started to make alterations. now doing this is a snap and I think it adds a lot more value to the Topaz in the old "Ease Of Use" category. Learn more about the Topaz from the product page below..

Clearview: The new Optelec models we are seeing have a new grey scale feature that gives them a real foot in the door of High Contrast Black and White color modes. And maybe it's me but the cowling on the arm and monitor connections seems different as well. But it's probably just me. The clarity of the new units seems a bit better but that's really subjective of me to say too. So check out the new units yourself and here's the product page for Optelec.

KNFB Reader: The product recently updated it's software to include a Currency Reading Mode and better support for text on various colored backgrounds. You can find the release notes and the download links for your particular flavor of the Reader at the below link.

1 comment:

Max from Minn. said...

Found your blog by clicking "Feeling Lucky" on Victor Stream. As a Mpls. resident I couldn't pass up an afternoon at the convention; even brought 3 sighted friends who didn't mind the $5.00 admission. The Stream does look interesting and inspired me to buy an SD card; those are slick!

I passed by all the low-vision exhibits but still say that's where the real money is, or at least will be in coming years. My major disappointment was with the KNFB Reader. They had it reading the same text over and over, but even then it was slow to capture the target page. The presenter on July 4th seemed content to repeat this demo rather than touting and/or showing what the product can do.

Let me conclude this comment with a shoutout to one Bill Benjamin, who sold some clever and affordable souvenirs, running the whole operation via a good old Perkins brailler.
(He has a Web site with the word Piano in it, but I forgot the rest. Too young for these senior moments.) Enjoyed the posting.