Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quick News: Smart HAL, Texplosion And NDU

It figures. I now sooner say something about my “Quick News” label and then a bunch of Quick News actually plops right down in my lap. Timing is everything I guess.

Smart HAL: Back in the day Telesensory had two products called Vista, yes like the Microsoft Vista, and Vert. It was a very early form of Screen Magnification with a Screen Reader for the old 386 and up systems. When TSI abandoned the project they tipped their users towards Ai Squared and Zoom Text. At the time I thought that this was a real classy move. And I applaud Dolphin for doing the same thing with Smart HAL. Below you will find a press release link for the “good ending” for the Smart HAL program. Thanks to Hazel for sending me the Press Release.

Texplosion: A new blog on the scene that comes out of the gate swinging. Best of luck to you guys and good posting.

NDU: Here is an email that recently came to me about some new products on the scene. Well to me at any rate. I live in a cave .. with great broadband access you know.


My company is called NDU-- New Designs Unlimited, LLC. We manufacture assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired. Our mission is to make technology more accessible by increasing affordability while reducing complexity. We have two main products --with variations on the available packages based on individual needs. Below are brief product descriptions.

1. SpeakEasy Media System. This is a computer designed specifically for blind and visually impaired users. It uses audio menus and minimal keyboard commands to get users to different features of the system. Some of these features include: Scan & Read (works like a traditional reading machine), news article browsing, web searches, a talking reference section (dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia), e-mail, audio books (this includes a Daisy book reader as well as audio books and audio books on tape from the internet), radio, podcasts, weather forecasts, and many others that are listed on our webpage. The full Media System package costs $1795 and includes a laptop computer, flatbed scanner, iPod portable player, and 2 years of free upgrades on the software. 2. SpeakEasy Reading Machine. This machine is a very easy-to-use reading machine that uses an arcade controller to guide the reading of documents. Documents may either be scanned in or transferred to the computer via USB thumb drive, and can be saved to the Reading Machine's harddrive for later retrieval. The basic package also includes access to audio books from the internet. For reading on this machine, users can easily scroll through text, using audio cues to tell how close they are to the top or bottom, and can also move continuously, line by line, word by word, or letter by letter through their documents. We also have an option to upgrade this package which is intended for folks with low vision. The upgrade includes a Scan & Magnify feature that allows users to scan (or upload from a USB thumb drive) and zoom in on their text. The machine ensures that the text is displayed white on a black background. As the SpeakEasy reads, it highlights the line of text and boxes the word it is reading. The basic package costs $1395 and the upgraded reading machine costs $1595. Please contact me or check out our site if you would like more information. Thanks for taking the time to check out our products.

Joanne Hill

Wow, Quick News. Its been awhile since I’ve done that. Feeling dizzy, must go lay down for a spell. All that copying of text can tire one out.

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