homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

The Geek Culture Forums!


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Geek Culture Forums!   » News, Reviews, Views!   » Your News!   » Apple announcement at CSUN Conference

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Apple announcement at CSUN Conference
Tech Angel
Alpha Geek
Member # 908

Member Rated:
5
Icon 4 posted March 16, 2005 13:43      Profile for Tech Angel     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I rarely get to be present at the forefront of such things, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to share a breaking news item.

This morning at the the CSUN (Cal State University - Northridge) Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities, Apple gave the first public demonstration of VoiceOver, the new universal access spoken interface which will make its official appearance in Tiger. (BTW, the webpage currently shows the Panther, not Tiger incarnation, the latter being much more fully featured.) Windows users who are blind or visually impaired have long relied on third-party software like JAWS or WindowEyes to make their PCs accessible, but Mac users have been without such options for OS X.

Well, in typical Apple style, they've "one-upped" the Windows crowd by building this incredibly powerful capability into the operating system. Windows users must purchase this functionality separately at great expense (e.g., JAWS costs $900-1100), the programs are fragile (think "crash a lot"), are sometimes incompatible or not well integrated, and version releases lag behind operating system releases.

VoiceOver also has many new capabilities not found in its Windows counterparts and, of course, it's a heckuva lot more intuitive. (Though I'm sighted, I know how to use JAWS and believe me when I say it has a really steep learning curve.) Coupled with the Mac Mini, this provides an incredibly accessible and capable system for a blind user for under $500 (no need for a monitor) -- about half the cost of the Windows screen reading software alone!

Of interest to those without disabilities, Apple also announced new voices for the Mac OS from Cepstral (I use them on the PC and they sound great!). Lastly, when referring to when VoiceOver capabilities will be part of the Mac OS, speaker Mike Shebanek said, and I quote, "...when Tiger is released, and it will be by...mid...this year." (Please note the pregnant pauses. [Wink] )

Exciting times ahead!

~ TA

--------------------
We must be the change we want to see in the world. -Mahatma Ghandi

Posts: 330 | From: the Great State of Confusion | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
magefile
Highlie
Member # 2918

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted March 16, 2005 19:29      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is that input, output, or both? And is input good enough to use to replace typing for word processing, assuming one is willing to deal with occasional mistakes?

--------------------
Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

Posts: 743 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Tech Angel
Alpha Geek
Member # 908

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted March 16, 2005 21:35      Profile for Tech Angel     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by magefile:
Is that input, output, or both? And is input good enough to use to replace typing for word processing, assuming one is willing to deal with occasional mistakes?

VoiceOver is a text-to-speech screen reader -- it not only reads text, but describes elements on the screen for blind/visually impaired users who can't see the monitor. Sounds like you're more interested in speech-to-text (speech recognition). Mac OS's built-in speech recognition is for command and control only (check the Speech control panel). For dictation, I've had good luck with MacSpeech's iListen. But -- and I really hate to say this -- I think PC-only Dragon NaturallySpeaking is better. [Frown]

--------------------
We must be the change we want to see in the world. -Mahatma Ghandi

Posts: 330 | From: the Great State of Confusion | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged


All times are Eastern Time  
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

© 2018 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0



homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam