18 February, 2012

Latest Posts on Coolest Gadgets

Latest Posts on Coolest Gadgets

BrailleTouch lets the blind text

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 04:30 AM PST

Modern smartphones come with touchscreen displays – which is not a bad thing at all, really. Just take a look at the kind of apps and games that have been written for the platform to date and tell me that it isn’t revolutionary in any way. However, while the hard of hearing can always enjoy the use of a smartphone or featurephone because they can see, how about the visually impaired? Georgia Tech believes otherwise, and has come up with BrailleTouch – a Braille-like texting app.

This prototype app for touchscreen mobile devices intends to be the complete solution to all our modern day texting problems, without having to even look at the device’s display at all – which would also bode well for the visually impaired, of course. Mario Romero, Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Interactive Computing (IC) and the project's principal investigator says, "Research has shown that chorded, or gesture-based, texting is a viable solution for eyes-free written communication in the future, making obsolete the need for users to look at their devices while inputting text on them."

You can check out just how BrailleTouch works in the video that you see below, and it might also help normal folk to bridge the gap with the visually impaired, since this free open-source app incorporates the Braille writing system. Initial studies that surround BrailleTouch alongside visually impaired participants who are proficient in Braille typing have shown that they are able to input at least half a dozen times the number of words in each minute when compared to other research prototypes that also have the same end game objective in mind – that is, eyes-free texting on a touchscreen display. These users were extremely proficient, being able to reach up to 32 words per minute with an accuracy level of 92%, now how about that? Imagine what kind of speed and accuracy can be achieved when the prototype app is finally polished.

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[ BrailleTouch lets the blind text copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

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Acer upgrades Iconia Tab range to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted: 18 Feb 2012 04:00 AM PST

Google has certainly made a whole lot of people hungry with their creative naming convention to depict the different operating system upgrades that they have rolled out so far. In order not to bore you with a long story, Android 2.1 was known as Eclair, while Android 2.2 Froyo proved to be rather delicious. Android 3.0 Honeycomb was a special tablet-only operating system update, while Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich intends to cut down on the fragmentation that has long plagued Android users, which means Android 3.0 and Android 2.2 users can now make the jump to Ice Cream Sandwich.

However, not all hardware manufacturers have prepared their device(s) to support Android 4.0, and good thing Acer is not one of those companies. In fact, Acer intends for owners of their popular Iconia Tab line to make the jump to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. In fact, an Over The Air (OTA) update for the Acer Iconia Tab A200 has already been pushed for some time now, and the entire exercise will be complete over the course of the following week.

Apart from that, those who own the 7″ Acer Iconia Tab A100 and the 10″ Acer Iconia Tab A500 will soon be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich on their respective tablets when April rolls around in slightly more than a month’s time. Just what kind of changes can you expect with Android 4.0 on board your Acer Iconia Tab? Well, we are looking at new features that enables users to enjoy a greater degree of usability and customizations, while other cosmetic improvements include a faster browser, enhanced app and folder management options, a more intuitive navigation, and a completely reimagined design.

There is also tighter integration with Gmail’s email as well as calendar functions, not to mention an improved multitasking and switching between tasks experience. According to Paul Tayar, Director of Product Marketing, Acer America, "The many enhancements in Android 4.0 OS complement the sleek, powerful and well-designed Acer Iconia Tab tablets to give customers an all-around first-rate experience. Customers will experience greater entertainment and productivity with the new capabilities and features on their tablets."

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[ Acer upgrades Iconia Tab range to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

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