Blind Bargains

Kickstarter Campaign: XOwi The World's First Personal Voice Companion

Have you ever needed to use your smart phone assistant, but your hands are too dirty to touch your phone? Have you ever wanted to take down a note, but you can't find or are not near your smart phone? The makers of the XOwi personal companion are aiming to solve these problems and more. The XOwi will be a wearable technology which is small enough to be clipped to your clothes or worn using a neck strap and doesn't require your eyes or your hands. Best of all, the company is committed to universal design and believes that their product should be usable by almost anyone. According to their Kickstarter page, "We strongly subscribe to the dictum that designing for universal use is the best way to design for a maximally usable product. In the case of XOWi, we want our device to be used by not only the traditional smartphone user base – those who can use both hands and eyes to interact with the device – but also people who can’t use their hands or their eyes. The effect of subscribing to the dictum of Universal Design is that not only will the user base of the product broaden, but the usability itself of the product increases in situations where an otherwise enabled person is disabled."

After watching the video on the KickStarter page, this project is something I think will appeal to most people. They are going to support Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and even Blackberry. Their hope is to interface with as many services as possible so that the technology becomes a part of your daily life.

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Category: Miscellaneous

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For the past three years Alena has been a feature writer for the online magazine Matilda Ziegler. She has also been a contractor for the Oregon Commission for the Blind, helping blind adults learn to use adaptive technology. She is studying to be a teacher of the visually impaired at Portland State. You might also recognize her from the Serotalk podcast Triple Click Home.

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