Talking Tech - Vision Australia Radio
Talking Tech 6th July 2021

Talking Tech 6th July 2021

July 6, 2021

I’ve Installed Windows 11 Insiders Build on my Surface Pro

 

Just some general comments, and the fact if you know how to use Windows 10, you’ll know how to use Windows 11.

 

What is Coming in Windows 11 for Accessibility - from the Windows Blog

 

Very general, but promising blurb from Microsoft.

 

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/01/whats-coming-in-windows-11-accessibility/

 

Quinter - Excellent Twitter Client for Mac and Windows

 

Excellent Twitter client for both Mac or Windows, and very easy to use/navigate.

 

http://masonasons.me/pages/quinter.php

 

ClubHouse Review from Access World

 

Social media platform just built around audio only rooms/events. iOS and Android versions accessible.

 

https://www.afb.org/aw/22/6/17590

 

Web Aim Screen Reader Number 9 for 2021

 

Good overview of what AT and web based stuff folks are using.

 

https://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey9/?utm_content=171574606&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-2382446636

 

Bursary Awards for 2022 are now Open to Apply

 

Now open for submission for 2022, closing end of September 2021.

 

https://www.visionaustralia.org/referral/benefits-and-funding/further-education-bursary

 

Next Exploring Tech Webinar - Smart Speakers

 

Register at:

 

https://visionaustralia.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_D6Hgjxf4SuO9hw2JRgpIWA

Talking Tech 29th June 2021

Talking Tech 29th June 2021

June 29, 2021

Windows 11

 

Windows 11 - New UI, new features, and new sounds.

 

Tech folks seem to like the new look of Windows 11 with its new UI interface.

 

NB - windows 10 21H2 will still be released at the end of this year, with Windows 10 being supported until October 2025.

 

Bottom line, Don’t Panic, if your machine is fine, leave it alone for now.

 

New PC’s coming out now will show that they are Windows 11 ready.

Developer build of Windows 11 out this week, new PC’s in spring will come with Windows 11, but full version downloadable not until early next year 2022.

 

Keynote was 1AM June 25 in Australia.

Initial problems with stream.

Was not Audio Described.

It was an OK keynote, not as inspiring as an Apple Keynote.

 

Windows 11 will be a free upgrade to existing PC users.

 

Minimum specs: 64 Bit CPU, 4GB RAM, 1GB clock speed, 2 cores, and 64GB storage, only slightly higher than Windows 10 requirements.

Secure Boot and TPM V2.0 according to the Windows 11 page is required for existing PC’s and new.

 

Secure boot and TPM causing a lot of confusion for existing PC users, here is an article explaining TPM and secure boot.

 

https://arstechnica.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Farstechnica.com%2Fgadgets%2F2021%2F06%2Fheres-what-youll-need-to-upgrade-to-windows-11%2F%3Futm_brand%3Darstechnica%26utm_source%3Dtwitter%26utm_social-type%3Downed%26utm_medium%3Dsocial

 

No more 32 bit version of Windows, but 32 bit apps will be supported.

 

Microsoft will require an Internet connection and a Microsoft account to setup Windows 11 Home.

 

Microsoft kicks Cortana out of the boot setup process for Windows 11.

 

Windows 11 has a Mac OS style Dock bringing the Start button and Apps to the middle of the screen.

 

Better multi-tasking in Windows 11 with Apps and App Windows.

 

Windows 11 adds Widgets to help serve content that matters to you (whether, news, sports scores etc).

New Commission free Microsoft Store if developers use their own Ecommerce systems.

 

Windows 11 to better support touch gestures with larger touch targets, and supports haptic feedback for pens on touch screens and tablets.

 

Microsoft is bringing Android apps via the Amazon App Store to Windows 11 (very questionable whether these will work with assistive technology).

 

Windows 11 built for gamers.

 

In the Keynote it sounded like Microsoft Teams was part of the OS on the Task Bar now, but it appears its only Teams Chat, still have to download the full version of Teams if you want to use it.

 

Voice Typing which is just an enhanced version of Voice Dictation will apparently punctuate correctly and allow basic edit voice commands such as “delete that”. Yet to see how well this works with Assistive Tech.

 

Skype will still be around until Windows 10 I’m assuming goes away in 2025. But, not pre-installed.

 

Internet Explorer finally not pre-installed on Windows 11.

 

Windows 11 will move to a yearly feature update model.

 

Windows 11 Landing Page

 

Besides details about Windows 11, also including a link to download the PC Health app to see if your PC will be able to run Windows 11. On my surface Pro it wouldn’t tell me as for some reason it decided it was a work PC and not a personal one.

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11

 

Link to the Microsoft Keynote Event for Windows 11:

 

https://mediastream.microsoft.com/events/2021/2106/HGS8/player/HGS8-3.html

 

All up, a very messy presentation leaving folks exactly wondering if Windows 11 will run on their PC;s and exactly when it will be available.

 

As of this show going to air, no news from the Microsoft Accessibility Team on Windows 11, just a generic statement that information will be coming.

 

Amazon Echo Smart Speaker Line Up

 

A bit of a switch of gears.

 

I am really liking my Amazon Echo Dot 4 gen, and Amazon Echo Dot 4 Gen with Clock around the house. Nice neat small speakers with great sound. About the size of a cricket ball with easy to use tactile buttons.

 

The Echo 4 Gen itself, which is the size of a Grape Fruit keeps the same stylish design as the Echo 4 Dot Gen, and again with excellent sound for filling a room.

 

If you really want to fill a room with amazing sound, you’ll find the Echo Studio works extremely well where it try’s to fill the whole room/space with sound. Like a big cylinder much like the full sized HomePod, but no where near so much base noise. Again, excellent tactile buttons.

 

Finally, the Echo Show 5, 8 and 10 screens work also well, particularly with the 10 moving to keep you in focus when on a video call. Still tactile buttons, and excellent sound.

NB for people relying purely on the inbuilt screen reader, some elements of some skills may not work. For example, asking for a list of scrambled egg recipes, the inbuilt screen reader will not read this screen.

For low vision folks, this issue may not be a problem.

 

Talking Tech 22nd June 2021

Talking Tech 22nd June 2021

June 22, 2021

Reminder - Exploring Technology Webinar Series with David Woodbridge June 2021

 

A fire side chat webinar with Michal and Jeff from Quantum Reading Learning Vision about their product line up for blind or low vision.

As usual I will be joined by my fellow co-host Tony Wu.

 

Last Wednesday of the month as usual (June 30) at 12:30PM Sydney time.

 

https://visionaustralia.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Rq-dBt8EQ4-M6_Q5OM3prw

 

Windows 11 Event June 25 in Australia

 

Yes Windows 11, and to be exact, it is at 1AM Sydney tine.

 

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2021/06/windows-11-event-how-when-watch-australia-microsoft/

 

Beats Studio Buds

 

Not quite yet available, but cheaper buds from Apple with Noise and transparency modes, but no automatic switching or ear detection.

 

https://9to5mac.com/2021/06/14/beats-studio-buds-vs-airpods/

 

Braille Blaster V2 from APH is Now Available

 

If you are using V1 of Braille Blaster, may be time to update to this new version.

 

https://www.aph.org/even-easier-braille-introducing-brailleblaster-v2/

 

Given It’s Winter in Australia, Wanted to Talk About my Dyson Air Purifier Hot + Cold Fan Fan

 

Are is the podcast link.

 

https://s301.podbean.com/pb/7dce7e3226bb8e0888e4f99c02ef6f91/60ce8887/data1/fs54/339150/uploads/demo_of_the_Dyson_Air_Purifier_Heater_and_fan_unitaixgc.mp3?pbss=a77d977a-2b38-540e-ac03-5ad8b20aa8b4

 

A Brief Review of the Olympus DM-720 Digital Recorder

 

A reasonably handy and self voicing basic voice recorder.

 

https://shop.visionaustralia.org/shop/product/es7426

 

I’ve decided to slowly move my smart home over to Amazon Echo smart speakers and more or less use Google Assist and Siri on my iPhone for Google Assistant, and Siri across my Apple devices.

 

I’ve just been finding myself using my Amazon smart speakers more and more with Google and Siri being used on my iPhone etc.

Overall I think I just prefer smart speakers that have actual buttons and the variety of speakers that Amazon offers: Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Studio, and Echo show.

Talking Tech 15th June 2021

Talking Tech 15th June 2021

June 15, 2021

End of Financial Year 20% off Sale from the Vision Australia Vision Store

 

Some excellent bargains to be had either online or by visiting your local Vision Australia office and checking out what local bargain buys can be had.

 

https://shop.visionaustralia.org/shop/in-department/departments/eofy-clearance-20

 

Exploring Technology Webinar Series with David Woodbridge June 2021

 

A fire side chat webinar with Michal and Jeff from Quantum Reading Learning Vision about their product line up for blind or low vision.

As usual I will be joined by my fellow co-host Tony Wu.

 

https://visionaustralia.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Rq-dBt8EQ4-M6_Q5OM3prw

 

Guest Interview for the Show today - Conrad Brown (Manager VA Radio and Audio)

 

As Vision Australia Radio is a community radio service, and for the month of June, the radio station is asking if we can all help by donating to the radio service, I thought it was timely to have Conrad to come on the show and chat about VA Radio, and to slightly geek out about a radio station - from our physical transmitters to our online presence.

I did note to both Conrad and Stephen before the show went live, that they sound much more like radio voices than I do, and one day I’ll be just like them when I grow up smile.

Hope you enjoy our chat.

 

Station website can be found at:

 

https://radio.visionaustralia.org

Talking Tech 8th June 2021

Talking Tech 8th June 2021

June 8, 2021

Vision Australia Vision Store End of Financial Year Sale

 

For the month of June, the store at Vision Australia is having an end of year sale.

 

To pick up some bargains either at your local Va office or via the web shop, ask your local VA staff or go to the web shop at:

 

https://shop.visionaustralia.org

 

WWDC 2021

 

Apple’s WWDC 2021 developers conference was held today the 7th of June 2021.

It was an amazing packed keynote presentation with lots of feature announcements across Apple’s product line.

 

As usual, the event was audio Described.

 

For me the things that stood out:

 

FaceTime with Spacial audio (Hear where the people are in the room,

Better noise cancellation for FaceTime calls,

People can join a FaceTime call by being sent a link that don’t use FaceTime,

SharePlay to share music and videos when on a FaceTime call,

AirPods get Conversation Boost (like Live Listen) to make it easier to listen during conversations,

AirPods Pro work with Find My with proximity detection,

AirPods Pro will notify you if you try and leave them behind,

Notifications get an update with Focus, 

increased privacy for mail, apps, and Safari,

Siri gets more secure and faster with its processing being done locally,,

Voice search available in Safari,

Find My comes to the Apple Watch,

New Mindfulness app comes to the Apple Watch,

Sleep app on Apple Watch monitors respiration,

Health data sharing amongst family members,

Widgets for the iPad,

App Library arrives on the iPad,

Better multi-tasking for the iPad as well as full keyboard support,

Swift Playgrounds lets users code and submit apps to the App Store,

Quick Notes for iOS and the Mac,

New Mac OS titled is Monterey,

Shortcuts come to the Mac,

Universal Control allowing what you are working on to be easily swiped between Mac and iPad using the Macs keyboard/trackpad on the iPad,

New Safari Tab groups, extensions, and a cleaner interface across all devices,

Spacial Audio starting to roll out today.

 

Keep in mind that the releases for iOS 15, iPad OS 15, TV OS 15, Watch OS 8, and Mac OS Monterey are developer betas for the next month, then public betas, and we (consumers) won’t see the software on our devices until September.

 

Link to the June WWDC 2021 Events Page:

 

https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2021/

 

Everything announced at WWDC from iMore

 

https://www.imore.com/heres-everything-apple-announced-wwdc-2021?utm_source=im_tw&utm_medium=tw_card&utm_content=76043&utm_campaign=social

Its time to support Vision Australia Radio

Its time to support Vision Australia Radio

June 2, 2021

Vision Australia Radio’s annual radiothon is on now. Help us continue to be an essential service for people with a print disability by donating now at www.varadio.org/VARdonate 

As a not for profit community radio network we rely heavily on community support to stay on-air. Help us secure our future. Visit varadio.org now and make a one off tax deductible donation. We’re hoping to raise $100,000 before June 30, we urge you to support Vision Australia Radio. Donate now, www.varadio.org/VARdonate 

Talking Tech 1st June 2021

Talking Tech 1st June 2021

June 1, 2021

Zoom Podtrak P4 Demos

 

Here are all of my initial Zoom Podtrak P4 demos on my iSee website (direct links) for this excellent multi-track recorder, mixer, and audio device.

 

First demo using the Podtrak P4

 

https://s301.podbean.com/pb/6ce8a802379aae21be599bd1276aad89/60b419fb/data1/fs54/339150/uploads/first_test_demo_of_the_Zoom_Podtrak_P49850w.mp3?pbss=0e5c0d2c-76d3-5f5f-aff7-a6cc8bc71514

 

Description of the Zoom Podtrak P4

 

https://s136.podbean.com/pb/e784a744e85eb5eb9eee038236ac48f1/60b41967/data2/fs54/339150/uploads/description_and_play_around_with_the_P46x6m7.mp3?pbss=f53674f6-a5e9-5991-a10b-4311ee4d15a7

 

Recording iPhone or other devices in to the Zoom Podtrak P4

 

https://s304.podbean.com/pb/76d1e4656fc9ec552f0ff1639b4470c1/60b4194c/data1/fs54/339150/uploads/Zoom_Podtrak_P4_more_on_channel_3_and_4_options6x1du.mp3?pbss=ff219d13-0515-576b-9a86-f9736bf08df9

 

Using the Sound Pad menu on the Zoom Podtrak P4 to change Sound Pad sounds

 

https://s147.podbean.com/pb/e41b59dbfa53d562ebd457143a95e04d/60b41533/data3/fs54/339150/uploads/Zoom_Podtrak_P4_Sound_Pad_sounds_for_Psound_type_repeat_sound_and_volume_changes64mop.mp3?pbss=c01784c3-e4d6-5f4e-aa6b-ee4158b9db08

 

Using the Files Transfer menu on the Zoom Podtrak P4 to easily transfer sound files to/from the P4

 

https://s325.podbean.com/pb/e2575c09b11038a0f8750053721dc2a6/60b41606/data1/fs54/339150/uploads/Zoom_podtrak_P4_transfering_files_directly_between_the_P4_and_a_Mac6pkkk.mp3?pbss=8c4ef803-6542-5781-910d-d8076861d674

 

Using the Files Menu on the Podtrak P4 to play back and delete recordings

 

https://s303.podbean.com/pb/faddfffa057b8d86f4e2b6ed5e0417d5/60b41680/data1/fs54/339150/uploads/Zoom_Podtrak_P4_Files_menu970xf.mp3?pbss=46924fa1-a06b-5098-8de0-e5f594faa83f

 

Google IO 2021 Event Recap

 

Android 12.

Tweaks fro ware OS with a Ware OS Fitbit (remember Google brought Fitbit), and Ware OS coming to Samsung Watch’s.

Privacy.

Update to Google Maps.

As its a dev developer conference, a lot of other items, read the link below.

No hardware announced.

 

https://www.techradar.com/au/news/google-io-2021-live-blog

 

Audible and Credits

 

We all know that you can’t buy Audible.com books within the Audible app on iOS (as you can on Android), but you can use your existing credits to get books.

 

Interview with Andreas Buchmueller (Access Technology Consultant) from Vision Australia Newcastle

 

We find a bit about Andreas, and what he does as an Access Technology Specialist in Newcastle in NSW.

We also asked Andreas being sighted himself, how he keeps up with software and hardware for blind or low vision given that he doesn’t use this software or hardware himself.

Talking Tech 25th May 2021

Talking Tech 25th May 2021

May 25, 2021

Interview with Ahrum Choi - Director of Social Impact at Dot Incorporation - Makers of the Smart Braille Watch

 

Stephen and I interview Ahrum and find out about Dot Incorporation, and of course, how the Dot Watch itself works.

 

Enjoy.

 

Here are my notes about the Dot Watch.

 

Product Evaluation Form

 

Product name:

 

Dot Watch.

 

Manufacturer: 

 

Dot Incorporated.

 

Manufacturer   website: 

 

https://www.dotincorp.com

 

App: Dot Watch 2 (Android and iOS).

 

iOS

 

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dot-watch-2/id1362946706 

 

Android

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dotincorp.dotApp&hl=en&gl=US

 

Documentation:

 

Tutorial and user guide within the Dot Watch 2 app or the following online link.

 

https://doc.dotincorp.com/manual/dot-watch-1-a/

 

The product box also contains a quick start guide in Braille for using the Dot Watch (no print version).

 

Video and promotional material produced by Dot Incorporated:

 

https://watch.dotincorp.com

 

Brief product description:

 

4 cell refreshable Braille smart watch with magnetic loop band for small and large wrist sizes. Can be used in stand alone or connected to iOS or Android.

Note - via the Dot watch 2 smart phone app, the Dot Watch can either be set to be used as a traditional Braille watch or tactile watch with cell and dot positions being used to display main functions such as battery status, time etc.

When purchasing, Dot Watch with small band or Dot Watch with large band are sold as an entire unit: i.e. can not swap out bands.

 

Physical description:

 

Round large wrist watch.

 

White top with silver surround.

 

4 horizontal refreshable Braille cells in middle of watch face.

 

2 touch scroll points below cells 2 and 3 for scrolling left/right.

 

Right side of watch if warn on left wrist - dot crown in middle, Home and Select buttons on either side of Dot crown.

 

Magnetic  metal loop band (silver).

 

Charging port for magnetic charger bottom opposite side to Home, Crown, and buttons.

 

What is in the box:

Well constructed product box with Braille identifying the Dot Watch.

 

Dot watch with metal band attached.

 

Braille booklet.

 

Magnetic charger with attached USB cable.

 

Three moisture and dust protective skins (fourth protective skin already installed on watch as shipped).

 

Main features:

 

  1. Compatible devices:

 

The dot watch is compatible with the following versions of iOS and Android.

 

iOS V9 and above.

 

Android V4.4.4 and above.

 

  1. Pairing the Dot Watch.

 

Easy to pair using the Dot Watch 2 smart app, select Pair from the main app screen.

 

Setup process will take user through a tutorial on how to use the Dot watch.

 

  1. Dot Watch 2 Smart app.

 

Easy to navigate and use.

 

Works with VoiceOver or iOS or Talkback on Android/Samsung.

 

  1. From the Dot Watch itself (Main Menu)

 

Connection status to smart phone.

 

Battery status.

 

Time (shown by default, can also show seconds and date).

 

Notifications (if turned on from Smart Phone app)..

 

Stop watch.

 

Timer (set minutes and seconds)..

 

Memo (if written from smart phone)..

 

  1. From the Dot Watch 2 app.

 

Alarm (set up to 10 alarms).

 

Hourly time toggle.

 

Find Dot Watch (makes Dot Watch vibrate, press Select button on watch to stop).

 

NB - from the Dot Watch itself, press Select and Home buttons twice to activate Find My Phone, will make phone play a loud sound each time this command is used.

 

Add, edit, and delete memos.

 

Access and delete saved notifications.

 

Study Braille.

 

  1. Dot Watch 2 Dot Watch Settings.

 

Output settings.

 

Display settings.

 

Notification settings.

 

Language settings.

 

Firmware update.

 

Watch information.

 

Unpair.

 

Benefits:

 

Can be either used as a traditional Braille watch or for non Braille users tactile watch with cell and pin positions representing main functions such as battery level, time etc (Braille or tactile mode set via the Dot Watch 2 app).

 

As a stand alone refreshable  Braille Display watch. Time on watch can be set manually without the use of a smart phone.

 

Works with both Android and iOS.

 

4 cell refreshable Braille Display which can be scrolled to read further text in notifications or memos.

Clear and easy to read Braille or tactile dots.

 

When pressing the Select button, time is display. Other menu options can then be easily accessed.

 

Hourly time can be toggled which will display time and cause the Dot Watch to also vibrate on the 

hour.

 

10 alarms can be set via the Dot Watch 2 app. When alarm goes off, alarm 1, alarm 2 etc will be displayed on the Dot Watch: eg a l NumberSign 1, a l NumberSign 2 etc.

 

10 memos can be added, edited or deleted from the Dot Watch 2 smart phone app (240 characters max per memo).

 

The Dot Watch can display 12 or 24 hour time via the Dot Watch smart phone app.

 

The Dot Watch can display date in Month Day or Day Month via the Dot Watch 2 smart phone app.

 

Via the Dot Watch 2 app, vibration intensity, auto scrolling speed, display timeout duration, reverse buttons to where on right hand, Braille or tactile modes  can be all adjusted.

 

Protective skins are there to protect the Braille cells from dust etc (note protective skin already installed on watch, not using the protective skin may void warranty). More skins can be obtained.

 

As magnetic loop strap is used, band can be adjusted for comfort.

 

Good mechanical feedback when pressing either Home or Select buttons, and when turning the Dot Crown.

 

Solid connection via Bluetooth to smart phone.

 

When Dot Watch moves out of Bluetooth range of smart phone, msg displayed on watch or can be checked by connection status. Similarly, msg displayed when reconnected or can again be checked in status connection.

 

Dot Watch is easily firmware updated via the Dot Watch 2 Smart phone app (can check within app if there is new firmware available).

 

The Dot Watch can be fully turned on and off, besides being in standby mode which is the usual state of operation.

 

The Dot Watch itself can be hardware reset (please consult user manual).

 

Points to consider:

 

As pointed out in the manual, when the display updates, do not hold your finger down on the display as this will prevent the dots from updating correctly. Most of the time you can hear the Braille dots settle after less than a second.

 

If the stop watch or timer functions are being used, you can hear the Braille display update, but this is quite a soft sound.

 

Be a little bit careful when taking off the band as the end of the band can slide through the connecting slot on the side of the Dot Watch.

 

As the band is magnetic, it may stick to the magnetic charger base when placing the Dot Watch on charge, just something to simply be aware of which is also pointed out helpfully in the manual.

 

To make it easier for users, the receiving slot on the side of the Dot Watch which takes the band does protrude from the side of the Dot Watch.

 

Due to the need for battery and the Braille Display, the Dot Watch does sit out a bit from the wrist.

 

Do not remove the protective skin from the dot Watch.

 

Hints and Tips:

 

Holding in Home button for 3 seconds will turn Dot Watch fully off, holding the Home button in again for another 3 seconds will turn the unit back on.

 

When Dot Watch in sleep (standby) press Select button to activate menu, time will be displayed.

 

Use Dot Crown to scroll up and down menu, scroll away for battery status and connectivity status, scroll towards you for rest of menu items. Each time the menu option changes, a vibration will be felt.

 

Use Select button to activate an item from the main menu once moved to it via the Dot Crown.

 

When in one of the menu options, you can press Home button to exit.

 

When displaying items on the main menu, some menu options are abbreviated to fit in to the 4 cells: noti for notifications, stop for stop watch, and timr for timer, 

 

When time displayed, pressing Select button will show seconds, pressing Select button again will display date, and pressing Select button will show the time again.

 

When selecting stop watch, press Select button to start/pause stop watch, hold in Select button to reset stop watch.

 

When selecting timer, adjust minutes with Dot Crown, press Select button, adjust seconds with Dot Crown, press Select button to start timer. When complete Dot Watch will pulse vibrate with the word tout for time out. To reset timer back to starting value, hold in Select button for a few seconds.

 

When notifications selected, use Dot Crown to scroll through numbered list of notifications from smart phone, press Select button to select a notification start reading with touch pad buttons or auto scroll via holding in Select button.

 

Use Home button to put display to sleep or wait for display timeout.

Use the touch sensor area below cell 2 and 3 to scroll left or right within a memo or notification.

 

Dot Watch will vibrate when receiving a notification from the smart phone.

 

When receiving incoming call to smart phone, press Home to reject or Select to answer: on iPhone, first press of Select button will display caller ID, and 2nd press of the Select button will answer call.

 

Besides Find Dot Watch from the smart phone app to find the Dot Watch, press Select and Home buttons twice to make smart phone play a sound so the phone itself can be located (of course within Bluetooth range). 

 

Charging and Battery life:

 

3 hours charging time.

 

No issues placing Dot Watch on charger and charging unit.

 

3 days battery life depending on use.

 

Support:

 

Within Dot Watch 2 app for contact/support details.

 

Email - support@dotincorp.com.

 

Online manual - https://doc.dotincorp.com/manual/dot-watch-1-a/

 

Cost:

 

USD $299.00.

 

Similar products:

 

No similar refreshable Braille smart watch’s on the market.

 

Who is the product for:

 

People who are Deaf blind or people who wish to use a refreshable Braille watch either in Braille mode or tactile mode with their smart phones.

 

Overall rating/thoughts:

 

Excellent product, does exactly as advertised and outlined in the tutorial and user guide.

Easy to pair and setup through the smart phone app.

Tested on both Android (Samsung S10), and iOS (iPhone 12 Pro).

 

Warranty:

 

1 year manufacturer warranty.

Talking Tech 18th May 2021

Talking Tech 18th May 2021

May 18, 2021

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) May 20 2021

 

Time to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness, raise awareness, and advocate where you can.

 

https://globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org

 

Catch Up with all the Online Vision Australia Radio Stations

 

On your smart speaker of choice you can now say play Vision Australia radio for:

Albury,

Adelaide,

Bendigo,

Darwin,

Geelong,

Melbourne,

Perth, an

Shepparton.

All supplied Via TuneIn.

 

Vision Australia Newcastle Tech Friday - all about Envision by Sam Taylor Pacific Vision

 

Webinar recorded May 14 2021:

 

https://visionaustralia.zoom.us/rec/play/zahabT-DuBB9om0uZl9U4a3pTwCyo7KGS6Yl_I_kGdBxGQRHzOXBcY6WJfXrZKmmY8n4VHNN4jwr42TT.nJkLNMStSl1PT8uI?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=pziEsh0ETsSRFXK59JOuYw.1621008887519.ee7e7cee08a132cd3ed63f5cf17ad851&_x_zm_rhtaid=641

 

Next Exploring Tech Webinar with David Woodbridge - Reading Options

 

https://visionaustralia.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gSgo1X-oT-qaLSeVkktn_w

 

Dot Watch from Dot Incorporated

 

4 cell Braille smart watch that can be used standalone or connected to Android/Samsung or iPhone.

Works extremely well, and as one person once said, I was so impress I purchased the company, but in my case, I purchased the Dot Watch smile.

 

https://www.afb.org/aw/20/1/14990

 

All sessions from the Ability Summit Now Available

 

Microsoft Ability Conference from earlier in the month presentations now available for your viewing pleasure: 21 videos spanning inclusive and diverse design.

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtSVUgxIo6Kpv--OFXzwdgMz4Kw-cJFLW

 

Zoom Podtrak P4 Review

 

This is an amazing device.

A multi track recorder designed for podcasting, even for beginners, just connect mics and head phones.

It is a multi-track recorder, mixer, and a 2 channel audio interface to a PC (Mac or Windows).

 

Main features of the P4:

 

Use your favorite mics.

Multi track recording supports for channels recorded at the same time, producing a combined file, and individual channel files.

Levels of all 4 mics can be individually altered.

4 Head phone outputs allows everyone to monitor voice levels.

Power can be via UsBC computer, USBC power or two AA battery’s (UsBC power could also be a power brick).

Remote recording of participants: channel 3 for smart phone, and channel for for PC: a Mix Minus function stops remote participants from hearing back an echo.

Instant playback of jingles via the 4 button sound pad.

The UsBC PC port can be used to use the P4 as an audio device to a PC: Mac or Windows.

P4 records at 44.1 kilohertz , 16 bit in Wav format.

Best of all, all main functions are controlled by knobs, buttons, and slide switch’s.

Use the Play, Stop and Record buttons to start/pause recordings. Menu via the Menu button is not accessible, but once options set, no need to access.

 

NB - when you first get the P4, install the AA battery’s, and get sighted assistance to set time/date via the menu, as well as turning on Mix Minus.

Zoom recommends that you format the SD card within the device itself (SD card not included).

What is cool from my point of view as well, is that whilst I am using the P4 as an audio device to my Mac, I can still use the record function on the P4 to also make a recording: i.e. Amadeus Pro on my Mac recording the podcast, and the P4 also making an audio recording.

Finally, some folks still like people to make local recordings which has the best quality sound, and then give those files to the podcast host who then brings them all together as a multi-track recording: which is why it is so neat that the P4 does a master file recording of all channels, but then individual file channels of each mic input/person speaking locally or remotely.

 

Further down the page I have listed what is now in my portable podcasting kit. At the very least you will need:

The P4 itself,

Sd card,

2 XLR mics if you are going to record yourself and another  person,

2 mic stands for the mics,

2 3.5mm head phones to monitor sound (including from the sound pad) for yourself and the other person,

Power bank to supply power or just use the AA battery’s,, UsBC charger, or UsBC to UsB A cable to power P4 from a PC (Mac or Windows),,

TRRS cable to plug in an iPhone for remote recording of Facetime or other calls,

Lightning to 3.5mm audio adapter for iPhone to support the TRRS cable,

And if you are not going to leave it on a desk, some type of carrying case for the P4.

 

Physical layout:

 

Back panel - 4 female XLR mic input ports.

 

Front panel - 4 output 3.5mm head phone ports.

 

Left panel front to back - UsBC PC/power, UsBC power, Sd card slot.

 

Right panel front to back - recessed power on/off, TRRS 3.5mm audio iPhone port, below the TRRS port is a Bluetooth Zoom adapter port to connect via BT to smart phones.

 

Bottom of unit - back edge 2 rubber feet on either side, and front edge long rubber strip (stops P4 from moving on desk). Above rubber strip, is the battery door for the AA battery’s).

 

Top face of unit where all the cool knobs, buttons,slide switch’s, and the screen is located (screen takes up part of the right hand face of the P4).

 

Going from the back top edge towards the front:

 

4 gain knobs for each of the XLR mic ports from left to right, channel 1, channel 2, channel 3 and channel 4.

 

Next row, 4 slider switch’s  for each of the mic input ports, again left to right, channel 1, channel 2, channel 3, and channel 4.

Channel 1, and channel 2 slide switch’s have two settings, left Dynamic mic, and right Condenser )phantum power) mic.

Switch channel 3, and switch channel 4 have a 3rd setting on the right: switch channel 3 is to engage iPhone via the TRRS 3.5mm port on the right side, and switch channel 4 is to engage the UsBC PC/power on the left side from a PC (Mac/Windows). 

 

Next row - 4 mute toggle buttons for each of the mic inputs, again left to right, mute channel 1, mute channel 2, mute channel 3, and mute channel 4.

 

It is always suggested that when a channel is not being used, mute and turn the gain down for that channel.

 

Then a group of 4 buttons in a 2 by 2 grid for the Sound Pads (P4 comes with preset sounds if you want to use them or create your own).

 

Under the Sound Pad buttons, a round knob to adjust volume for all Sound Pads.

 

To the right of the Sound Pad volume knob, 4 buttons: Menu, Play, Stop, and over to the right, the Record button.

 

NB - just as an FYI, when in the Menu, Play and Stop buttons move through the menu, and the Record button acts as a select or enter button.

 

Underneath the volume Knob, are the 4 volume knobs for each of the head sets, for monitoring mic input, corresponding to each of the mic inputs: head phone 1, head phone 2, head phone 3, and head phone 4.

 

NB, the gain knobs for the mic inputs have no tactile pointer. You can just keep turning them, mark them with something like Loc Dots so you can tell what level you have each of the mic gains set at

 

Learn about this very much accessible recorder for podcasters in episode 116 on the Mosen podcast recorded by Tim Cumings.

The following link is from a different website to Mosen Explosion which will allow you to download the actual MP3 file as well as listening to it online so you can use it as a resource whilst you are getting used to using the P4.

 

https://the-blind-podmaker.pinecast.co/episode/6f5ca0c9/tim-cumings-demonstrates-the-zoom-podtrak-p4

 

I also did a podcast on the Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast with Tim as well which will be available this week when I knew absolutely nothing about the P4.

These are just my notes based on Tim’s excellent demo, and some other work on the internet.

As soon as I get my own unit, I will also do a hands on podcast.

 

General review of the Zoom Podtrack P4 from the general tech industry

 

https://www.thepodcasthost.com/equipment/zoom-podtrak-p4-review/

 

This was an interesting article explaing the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones, mainly aimed at producing music and vocals.

 

https://musicianshq.com/whats-the-difference-between-dynamic-and-condenser-microphones/

 

This article, this time aimed at using dynamic or condenser microphones for recording podcasts.

 

https://www.theseasonedpodcaster.com/gear/condenser-vs-dynamic-mic-for-podcasting/

 

I found reading both articles started to give me a good basic understanding of the different types of microphones and the language associated with them.

 

Quick tip, use a dynamic mic for podcasting, and yes, you absolutely need the TRRS cable and the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter if you want to record from your iPhone for calls etc.

 

Also, when you use either channel 3 mic input via the 3.5mm port to record iPhone or channel 4 mic input to record via UsBC port to PC, you can not use the channel 3 or 4 mic ports as XLR mic inputs: they are not available.

 

Zoom Podtrak P4 User manuaL:

 

https://zoomcorp.com/media/documents/E_P4.pdf

 

Zoom Home Page for the Podtrak P4

 

https://zoomcorp.com/en/jp/podcast-recorders/podcast-recorders/podtrak-p4/

 

This is what my podcasting kit now consists of:

 

Zoom Podtrak P4, 

 

4 dynamic mics with stand/puff filters,

 

4 noise cancelling head sets,

 

accessible power bank (originally from AT Guys),

 

several SD cards,

 

hard shell carrying case for P4,

 

all necessary cables (TRRS, 3.5MM Lightning adapter, 2 UsBC to UsBA cables, and UsB wall charger), and

 

SD card reader for M1 MacBook Pro.

 

10 pack of AA battery’s,

 

computer bag for carrying.

 

Of course, M1 MacBook Pro for editing recording from SD card

 from Zoom Podtrak P4.

Talking Tech 11th May 2021

Talking Tech 11th May 2021

May 11, 2021

A Follow-up About AirTags and Privacy

 

I think the bottom line is, yes you can initially track where the AirTag is, but if it stays away from you, there will be a notification to you or others near by.

 

https://www.idownloadblog.com/2021/04/30/apple-explains-airtags-unwanted-tracking/

 

My Demo of Setting Up and Using an AirTag

 

Setup and initial demo.

 

https://s332.podbean.com/pb/88c5f2b8634064bf144020e9c23fa6db/609489dc/data1/fs54/339150/uploads/AirTag_setup_demo6yhhl.mp3?pbss=4d9d69bd-69b3-5d03-bbc3-e6d4280a5941

 

A Quick Review of the Echo Dot 4 Generation and Echo 4 Generation

 

Excellent sounding speakers, love the shape, and the buttons are even easier to find on these round models.

 

https://s186.podbean.com/pb/e8e349f5eef74f6b603bcb6d922d18dd/6099a8aa/data1/fs54/339150/uploads/physical_description_of_Echo_4_and_echo_dot_4_generationsacnoo.mp3?pbss=0f0ba1d2-954d-5b76-bb56-afd4a9817085

 

Sonos Roam

 

Physical description of device.

Quality of sound.

How it is controlled.

App, Alexa, Google, Airplay 2, Bluetooth.

Great accessibility of the Sonos Ap.

 

Vision Australia Vision Store Exploring Tech Webinar with David Woodbridge - Braille Solutions

 

Now up on the Vision Australia Youtube channel.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtAogUPpvC4

 

Orbit Writer is now back on the Vision Australia Vision Store

 

This is the very portable, 5 BT and 1 UsB connected device Braille input keyboard: excellent for data entry and navigation for iOs, Android, Windows, and Mac.

 

https://shop.visionaustralia.org/shop/product/es0411

 

A Reminder, If you have a Smart Phone, You can use it as a Video Magnifier for Reading Print

 

This goes both for Google/Samsung, and Apple smart phones or tablets, just search for magnification or low vision and you should fine more than several.

 

iOS Microsoft Sound Scape, Now with the  Current Location Button

 

Don’t know how long this button has been there, but getting proper location with Suburb is a lot more meaningful when you are on a train using Sound Scape rather than just what street or facility is near by.

 

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/microsoft-soundscape/id1240320677

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