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iOS 14 review: access all areas?

After three months of beta testing over the summer Apple has released iOS 14 to the public. It includes a range of new features, including widgets on the Home screen, an all-new App Library, and much more. Having tried the software over the past couple of weeks this is my take on the good, the bad and the work still to do to make iOS 14 and the iPhone accessible for people that have a difficult or impossible time using their iPhone with their hands. I have a severe physical disability, muscular dystrophy – a muscle-wasting disease which leaves me effectively quadriplegic, unable to do much with either arms or legs. I rely on my voice to control and interact with my Apple iOS gear. Phone calls iOS 14 introduces a minimised phone call pop up that doesn’t take over the entire screen, wh...

SpeechWare TwistMike review

SpeechWare is a Belgian company with a great reputation in the speech recognition industry for professional microphones that are regarded as among the very best you can get. I have been using the company’s USB 9-in-1 TableMike for about three years and have always been impressed with the accuracy of dictation when using it with Nuance’s Dragon Professional Individual 15 speech recognition software. You can read more about the USB 9-in-1 TableMike in this excellent online review. Before I discovered the TableMike I had used many different kinds of microphones, including wired and wireless Bluetooth headsets, with fairly mediocre results when it comes to dictation accuracy. Few consistently delivered the 98 per cent plus accuracy, which should be the minimum acceptable for speech...

Echo Frames review: Amazon’s smart glasses

Echo Frames are an Amazon Day 1 product released earlier this year. Day 1 products are pilot products for testing that may or may not get released to consumers. In autumn 2019 Amazon announced it would be launching smart glasses with Alexa built in called Echo Frames as a Day 1 product. The company invited people to register their interest to get the glasses at a lower price than what the full price will be if they get released to the public. As a early tech adopter I couldn’t wait to get hold of them so I registered for an invitation on the Amazon website but didn’t receive an invite to purchase the device at a reduced $179.99 preview price until mid July. I am based in the UK and was surprised that despite making my location known, when I registered my interest in testing the...

The next big electric wheelchair innovation is right under your nose

I have been using an electric powered wheelchair for more than 40 years. In the 1980s powered wheelchairs were very basic and did little more than take you from A to B. Thankfully, over the decades technology has progressed and today there are a lot more options for users. Powered actuators will let you tilt the seat, recline the backrest, extend the leg rests, and raise and lower the height of the seat, all with the press of a button. Improvements like advanced seating systems, lights, suspension systems, and intelligent steering have been the main developments in electric powered wheelchairs I have seen during my lifetime but all this progress has still left me with a big question, “What’s the next real innovation?” A voice-driven electric powered wheelchair? Instead of...