Posts Tagged ‘braille’

Can mainstream and specialized technology exist together?

December 31, 2011

In the world of the blind and VI we’ve been ahead of the curve for some time. It all started with the braille n’ speak a small powerful device back in the day for blind people. This device was a pda and did a lot. When I first was introduced I was hooked. Fast forward a few years 2008 when apple introduced the iPhone 3GS. This was a revolutionary device for a blind person because it was the first touch screen device. Many people including myself were skeptical and pet to our specialized cellphones. However in 2011 we saw a big shift in the blindness community as the adoption of the iPhone has been huge. There are still some people including myself that use a mixture of specialized tech for the blind and mainstream devices to get every day tasks done. Why this drives some people to argue about I will never understand. Just as an example let me give you some of my experiences. I have an iPhone 4 and a Braille Note Apex. I will use my Braille Note for reading bookshare books and materials for school. I use my iPhone primarily as a phone. When it comes time to take notes for lectures I use a digital recorder and my Braille Note. I know a few people who would argue with me on this point and say “why not just use your iPhone and a braille display?” While this is possible and practical for some, it may not be for others. Yes with a iPhone in your pocket and a Braille Note over your shoulder you are carrying two devices. However, for me its’ worth it because if I need to make an important phone call or my battery is at 50% on my phone I’d rather reserve the life of my phone. Plus you’d have to hook up the iPhone to the braille display via bluetooth and the take take some time and there is always hassle with doing that procedure. Plus with the Braille Note you get instant translation unlike the iPhone where you have to wait a few seconds for translation. There are many more reasons why I use a specialized device in conjunction with a mainstream device. I’d like to hear your thoughts on mainstream and specialized technology. You can comment and we’ll have a discussion.


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