The Nokia N800 Linux tablet looks very interesting as an ET platform. It could make a cool augcom device. High-functioning users could use the touch screen while children likely to throw things might use a web-cam based input mode. It looks like the camera can be pointed at the user, so the device could sit on the table out of reach with the camera focused on (say) a pad with colored regions in front of the user. Touching these regions could be the users "switches". With fairly loud sound and a not too small screen it might be usable. At $399 it is certainly cheap enough for experiments. Here is a nice video demonstrating some of its capabilities.
Posts with tag: enabling technology
A provocative story over at MSNBC on " Babies with made-to-order defects " could make an interesting discussion for my ET class.
The tiny pager motors ( VPM2 from Solarbotics) work great with the USB-1024HLS. I can drive them with the 15mA source capacity of the USB-1024HLS. Using duty-cycle modulation I can control the strength of the vibration. The 4-wire cable I used for each set of 3 is too stiff allowing vibration to couple from one to the next. I'm going to switch to long flexible pairs stripped from a flat cable. That should allow more freedom in placement and less coupling.
I bought a USB-1024HLS from Measurement Computing for an experiment with tiny pager motors as a cheap Braille display. For $149 you get a tiny brick with screw terminals. It works great. Their library is easy to use from Python using ctypes. I'm guessing USB timing limits it to 125 updates per second. I've got it blinking LEDs while I'm waiting on the pager motors to arrive.
Alex says the Brew development envrionment for Qualcomm phones is free. Perhaps we could do the Morse-code text messaging for deaf-blind people with that.
Great article by Fiona Morgan in the Independent Weekly. Lots of good ideas about open source and assistive technology.
I've made the claim that we can drive a small speaker at a low frequency and feel it vibrating.
For $25 we can buy a little USB device that has 6 audio outputs. They intend them as front/back, left/right, and center/bass; this is called 5.1 audio. They provide three standard 3.5mm headphone jacks for plugging in the speakers.
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