Friday, May 22, 2009

Looking Beyond The Screen At Google I/O2009

Come join me and Charles Chen at Google I/O2009 at our session on Looking Beyond The Screen (YouTube Preview where we will describe some of our work on eyes-free interaction on Android. We'll be around during most of Google I/O, so if you are interested in eyes-free interaction ranging from Emacspeak to Fire-Vox, or anything else eyes-free, feel free to grab us in the hallways. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Abstract: Looking Beyond The Screen

Looking Beyond The Screen

Project Eyes-Free aims to enable fluent eyes-free use of mobile devices running Android. Target uses range from eyes-busy environments like in-car use to users who are unwilling to or incapable of looking at the visual display --- see For The Blind, Technology Does What A Guide Dog Can't, NYTimes, January 4, 2009, for a high-level overview. As described in that article, we are releasing components from project Eyes-Free as they become ready for end-user deployment. This announcement marks the first public release of the eyes-free shell on the Android Marketplace, though the underlying source code has been available for some time from the code repository at Google Code Hosting.

Here is a brief overview of the end-user affordances provided in this release:

  1. An Eyes-Free Shell for conveniently launching talking applications.
  2. A collection of useful talking applications that turn an Android phone into an eyes-free communication device --- see subsequent sections for an overview of these applications. Note that thes eapplications have been written to be both useful to end-users as well as to help the developper community to come up to speed with developing eyes-free applications for Android.

We will be uploading video tutorials demonstrating the use of these applications to YouTube --- please see the project Web site for these links as they become available.

Talking Dialer

A key innovation is the use of the touch screen to enable one-handed, eyes-free dialing of phone numbers using the touch screen --- see Miguel Helft's NY Times article cited above for a good layman's description of the technique. The talking dialer comes with a talking phone-book that enables users to quickly select a desired contact using the touch screen.

Knowing Your Location

This mini-application announces your present location based on information acquired via GPS and the cell network. It speaks your current heading using the built-in magnetic compass, looks up the current location on Google Maps, and announces the location in terms of a nearby address and street intersection.

Device State

This mini-application announces useful information such as battery state, signal strength, and availability of WiFi networks.

Date And Time

This mini-application provides single-touch access to current date and time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Announcing emacspeak 30.0 --- SocialDog!

Emacspeak-30.0 (SocialDog) Unleashed!

For Immediate Release

San Jose, CA, (May 11, 2009)
Emacspeak: --- Bringing friendly Access For social beings
--Zero cost of upgrade/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Downloads Reference Installation Usage Tips Tools Support
About the author SourceForge

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak-30 --a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data and service-oriented social Web cloud.

Investors Note

With several prominent analysts initiating coverage, NASDOG: ESPK continues to trade over the net at levels close to that once attained by the DogCom high-fliers of yester-years and as of October 2008 is trading at levels close to that achieved by better known stocks in the tech sector.

What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented Web cloud.

Major Enhancements

  1. Speech-enables Twitter.
  2. Unicode support for enabling the world's various charsets.
  3. Emacs front-end to popular Google AJAX APIs.
  4. Updated g-client with preliminary support for Google Docs.
  5. Updated URL Templates for rapid Web access.
  6. Updated WebSearch wizards for enhanced productivity.
  7. Emacs 23 support.

See the NEWS file for additional details.