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Author: Colin Hughes

How Apple’s AI-infused operating systems at WWDC will revolutionise accessibility for disabled people

As Apple prepares to launch new AI-infused operating systems at WWDC 2024 in a couple of days from now, it’s essential to consider what these advancements could mean for accessibility users. Current tech solutions for disabled people, while helpful, often fall short in delivering efficient and frustration-free communication. This blog post explores the potential of AI to transform technology and e...

Top four feature requests for Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses

As technology continues to evolve, the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are at the forefront of integrating fashion with advanced functionality. Here are my top four feature requests for these innovative glasses. While these suggestions stem from accessibility needs, they have the potential to enhance the user experience for everyone. 1. Emoji support in messaging One of the exciting features that Meta ...

Empowering voices: Apple’s pioneering accessibility enhancements for speech recognition

Last August, I published an article on The Register, drawing attention to a pressing issue affecting 250 million individuals globally: the inadequacy of voice recognition technology for those with non-standard speech. This is a significant challenge for individuals with conditions such as cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke survivors, and those with muscular dystrophy like ...

England’s broken social care system punishes disabled people and their carers and needs urgent reform

One Monday morning, before Mrs Joy Smith’s council-funded carer had arrived to help her wash and dress, debt collectors arrived at her home demanding payment of the overdue money owed to the council for her basic care. Not a real case, nor the opening line of a new work of fiction, but typical of what goes on. This is the reality of social care in England today. In a society where the care of our ...

Apple DOJ lawsuit: is Apple’s ecosystem hindering accessibility?

In the realm of modern technology, the intersection of corporate practices and accessibility for disabled people presents a complex landscape. As technology continues to evolve, it’s important to scrutinise the ways in which these advancements either bridge or widen the gap for disabled people. Among the giants in the tech industry, Apple has this week come under scrutiny for its alleged monopoly ...

Voicing concerns: the silent struggle for Siri accessibility on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch, often regarded as a symbol of cutting-edge technology, pledges to bring the future to our wrists. Yet, for those with severe upper limb disabilities, this future comes with a caveat. The challenge? Siri’s accessibility—or the lack thereof. Apple’s wizardry has made Siri smarter in recent times. With the voice assistant on your wrist, you can do everything from launching apps to re...

Why Apple Voice Control needs an AI upgrade

Apple’s press release for the new M3 MacBook Air launched this week described the machine as the “world’s best consumer laptop for AI.” The claim comes ahead of WWDC 2024, when the tech giant is expected to announce a raft of new artificial intelligence features across all of its platforms. Apple CEO Tim Cook has teased the company’s plans for new artificial intelligence (AI) announcements twice t...

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses: hands-free heaven for accessibility

The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses launched last October and succeeded the first-generation Ray-Ban Stories. They are a collaboration between Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, and Ray-Ban, the iconic eyewear brand. They are designed to offer a range of features, such as camera, audio, and AI, in a stylish and comfortable form factor. They come in two styles: Wayfarer and Headliner, and var...

How I influenced Apple’s Siri updates and what other accessibility features I’m hoping for in 2024

In iOS 17.4, currently in beta testing, there is a new option to set ‌Siri‌ to read incoming messages in a specific language like French, Spanish, German, and many more.The change does not update the primary language that ‌Siri‌ speaks in and responds to, but is limited to message playback. This is something I highlighted to Apple in an email last August citing an example of how adding other langu...

KeyboardMike Plus review: SpeechWare’s new highly accurate voice dictation microphone

In today’s digital world, talking instead of typing has become a game-changer. With voice dictation, you can easily turn your spoken words into written text, making tasks like sending emails and messages super easy. And what makes this magic happen? Microphones! These little gadgets aren’t just extras; they’re the heroes behind clear communication. A good voice dictation micropho...

Sunak scrapping dedicated minister for disabled people makes no sense

I am deeply concerned by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to remove the dedicated role of Minister for Disabled People, a position that has been part of government for decades. The move is regrettable, and its implications for disabled people are troubling. Mims Davies has taken on the role within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but remains a parliamentary under Secretary of State...

Enhancing Ray-Ban Stories: 5 ways Meta can improve its ailing smart glasses

Meta is struggling to retain users for its Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, with over 90 percent of consumers having abandoned the platform, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Launched in September 2021, for some at least the integration of the smart glasses into our daily lives has brought a new dimension of connectivity and convenience. With the partnership between Meta and Ray-Ban,...

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