Musings on the Evolution and Longevity of Accessible Personal Digital AssistantsBy Corona, Guido; Access World, Vol. 8, No. 6
Publication Date: November 2007
Article reviews three personal digital assistants (PDAs) accessible to the blind, the Icon from LevelStar, the Braille+ from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and the Nano from Caretec. (1) The Icon features near-desktop-class hardware, massive hard-drive storage and a mini-SD card slot, wireless 802.11B, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, integrated stereo and mono earphone speakers, a built-in microphone, and a user-replaceable Lithium rechargeable battery. Its software, developed with APH, includes a word processor, POP3 e-mail, a scheduler-planner and telephone contacts. It has a music player and supports downloading of talking books and newspapers; Internet access is provided through its MiniMo Mozilla-based browser. Its keypad is capable of all braille variants including a new reduced-keystroke variant dubbed thumb braille. (3) A variant of the Icon augmented by an integrated braille keypad, called Braille+, is being marketed by APH. (4) The Nano, a small notetaking device weighing 4.7 oz, features a computer braille keypad, a set of arrow keys for text input reminiscent of using an onscreen keyboard, and internal microphone and speaker for voice input/output. Future additions to PDAs mentioned include wide area networking (WAN) and GPS receivers.
Assistive Products Discussed: ICON
BRAILLE+ MOBILE MANAGER (MODEL 1-07450-00)
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw080602