Friday, July 10, 2009
The Call of the Sirens
Even though my career has been spent in the technology arena (I am a computer engineer), my electronic gadget quotient is low. For instance, I don’t mind and even sometimes enjoy listening to records – you know, those vinyl things. And, even though we have FIOS TV, and way too many channels for me to even remember, I usually end up watching network TV. It drives my 18 year old son crazy when I come to him and ask him to unravel the mess I sometimes make of the TV/FIOS box/Blueray Player/DVD Player/Sound System. Even worse in his mind is that I have a cell phone with lots of bells and whistles, and all I use it for is to make and receive phone calls. But all that may be about to change!
For several years my son has been extolling the virtues of the IPhone. So far our cell carrier does not offer that phone, but as soon as my son’s contract is up, he’s headed to the other carrier that does offer the IPhone. One of the reasons is that there are hundreds of ‘applications’ available for the IPhone.
Now remember, since all I do is make and receive calls, the lure of the applications has yet to call to me. This week, however, I saw three different news stories discussing IPhone applications specifically designed for people with sensory disabilities. The sirens are calling to me….
First, one company has two IPhone applications, one for allowing sight-enabled people to learn Braille. Just the fact that they used the words “sight-enabled” sucked me right in. That same company also offers a fingerspelling application.
Another company has developed an IPhone case that enables people who are blind to access the touch screen feature of the phone – extremely interesting but please don’t tell Ashley about this just yet!
And finally, another new application called soundAMP allows the IPhone to act as a modified hearing aide.
I just may have to reconsider my make/receive cell phone calls approach to life!