Monthly Archives: February 2015

YouTube for Kids

YouTube is releasing an app for kids today in an effort to help protect kids from inappropriate content on their website but also to help segment the audience more. This effort is a way to organize content on YouTube better just as the networks have done with the TV rating system. As YouTube becomes more advanced with their licensing system, content aggregator, and music system already in place, they have a financial incentive to keep offering relative material to certain audience members, namely kids and eventually teens.

Purposeful Entertainment
It always amazes me how parents are so quick to keep their kids from sitting in front of the TV all the time but never quick enough to say the same for what they watch on YouTube. How many times have you caught your child laughing at all the animal videos only to think how cute it is to see them laugh. It is easy to write that off as nothing harmful but pure enjoyable to them as a child. Why is that any different than if they were to sit in front of a TV and watch the Animal Planet channel? The truth is that it is not. The child is not getting any kind of stimulation (side note: for all future purposes and understanding your child does not need to be stimulated or educated every waking second of their child life, they too need down time just like an adult so over stimulating is just as bad as under stimulating) but the act of laughing itself makes the whole thing seem ok but now that there are YouTubers who provide material for children now it only makes seem to create a separate entity within the YouTube world just for kids.

Segmenting Content
Instead of searching for videos on certain things kids will have categories to pick from to find their favorite show. This will make it easier for content providers to connect with kids who are interested in learning new things. The search function will still be there but it will limit what videos they can still find. Yes, the silly cat videos will still be there but just be aware that this is another sneaky way to try and add in a kind of work around to creating a rating system on YouTube.

The app itself will have 8 categories for kids to tap on. A few of the major players in those eight categories will be Jim Henson studios, Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and Thomas the Tank. Sesame Street will add in more interactive content for children to use including the many others who will be creating content specifically for little kids. The app will also include a voice search function, just like the regular YouTube website and app, which Google feels kids will use more often than typing since most kids won’t know how to spell certain words.

Functions of the App
The app itself is designed with a lot of feedback in mind from many of the developers themselves who worked on it to many organizations that work to create guidelines for parents. A few of the features of the app include

  • Time Limit Option – Parents can select how long their child is allowed to use the app everyday. When the time is up the app will ask for a password to continue what they are doing or shut off until next time.
  • No Distracting Comments – The app has disabled the comments options to keep kids from getting distracted by this but also nothing on the video screen either.
  • Voice-Search – Kids can search the app using just their voice. This is helpful for little hands that haven’t learned their ABCs yet.
  • Big Button Options – Excellent for little fingers that don’t have the dexterity that older hands have. This makes it easier to click on videos and find their favorite shows. Titles of videos will be replaced with larges pictures of what they want to see, since visualization is key to this app’s design.
  • Four Playlist options – Music, Shows, Learning, and Explore

The app will not be available to Apple users’ until late April. It will only be available for all Android devices starting today.

Making Money by the Rules
The creation of the app creates a very fine line that Google has to walk since the app caters only to children that means that Google must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, not to mention a slew of other laws. This means that Google cannot collect personal information about a child without the parent’s consent.  This can make it difficult for how it plans to collect information so they can sell it for advertisers.

Currently Google is planning on creating original content just for the app itself, and because they are Google they have the enormous cash reserves to be able to do it in the beginning with no problem but any business person will tell you that is not a sustaining model in the long run. They will need to figure out how to make money off of this content that will only be viewed by children. It is a strong case that Google will introduce a subscription base model for this app in order for kids to access their favorite shows once they are hooked on them. The only challenge to that is kids don’t stay young forever so they will need to figure out how to keep getting new viewers.

Google has the option of placing ads on their app of course this can pose many problems since most kids, including teens and adults, are not able to tell an online ad from content within the video itself. They will need to be careful if those ads try to take them out of the app and onto the internet where they can run into problems. Once you get a child out of the app and onto an advertiser’s website, the rules for child compliance change since the child was not supposed to be there in the first place, just another sneaky way advertisers get around the rules.

Of course for many online companies that do comply with the rules of protecting children’s online privacy they view this opportunity as a goldmine of being able to target kids specifically, especially toy makers, candy companies, and movies for kids. They know that anyone watching will be their target audience, which is very difficult on the YouTube website itself, here they know that only kids will be watching, since it is for kids 12 and under. YouTube is for people 13 and over but who follows those rules?

New form of Entertainment
The app is a shift in how online entertainment is going. Netflix already has an option for kids where content is aggregated by age and pre-selected for young viewers but many kids know how to get out of that if there is no password. It won’t be long before more and more websites start catching on the potential to market and create content for young viewers since so many are already walking around with tablets in their hands at a young age now that tablets and mobile technology is getting cheaper and cheaper.

If you would like to download the app for your child click on this link.

News Articles

YouTube Unveils New App for Kids

YouTube for Kids will Launch on Feb 23

YouTube to Release new App for kids

Introducing the newest member of our family, the YouTube Kids app–available on Google Play and the App Store

The Most Creative iPhone cases around

There are not many iPhone cases that bring to life the power of films and put it in the palms of your hands. There are some great ideas out there for iPhone cases all of which carry some very useful features, like the case that lets you see through walls, but very few enable you to add an extension of your movie personality to your phone.

Ever since the iPhone first came on the market it has spawned new businesses. There are now companies that make screen protectors to put on your phones, extra protection in case something happens to your phone and even engravings on the back of your phone in case you lose it. Now that we have even more options to customize our phones to reflect our personalities it is no surprise that more companies are rising to the challenge and bringing us something we have always wanted to have with us, stuff from the movies!

Back to the Future
The first case is from one of my favorite film triologies, Back to the Future. The case will be available this spring so order now. The case retails around $50 US dollars (5940 Yen). This cover is for the iPhone 6.

Batman
The Batman franchise is one of the most successful ones around and will continue to be successful in future films. The creators were smart to make both batmobile cases that are famous to the films. The most recent one is the classic batmobile along with the batmobile tumber. Both phones retail for $50 US dollars (5940 Yen). You can pre-order at the links below each video. This is for the iPhone 5/5s.

Batmobile Tumbler

Purchase Case here

Batmobile Classic
The best Batmobile, in my opinion, was from the first one Tim Burton made. The look and feel to the car made its presence known to everyone around them, plus it had that cool armor cover. This one may not have all the cool features that the Tumbler car has but it still looks the best.

Order Your Case here


Whether you are into the films or not these make great gift ideas for anyone that loves those films. The nice features they add to each case make it all that most special to have. All the cases light up when they get a phone call and each one has movable parts to interact with.

If you would like to see what other crazy things Ban Dai company makes be sure to check out their website. They even have a Millenium Falcon case but that is not for any American style phone. I can’t wait until a company makes a Echo-1 case from Ghostbusters. Now all they need to do is make these cases for Android phones. Why should Apple users have all the fun!

 News Articles

The Back to the Future iPhone Case

The Batmobile iPhone 6 Case

How to Network a Room

You contemplate attending an event. You say to yourself, “I don’t need to go, I already know plenty of people and besides, who else am I going to meet that I don’t already know?” You know there will be lots of people there and a part of you knows that you should be there but you figure you have other things to work on so you pass up the event. But there is another side of you that is not a fan of these events because you know that to get anything out of it requires you go up to people and talk. The fear of putting yourself in front of others makes you feel vulnerable and helpless, almost like you are begging them for help. The truth of the matter though is that these events are what help spread your career out in ways you never imagined. Don’t forget, they need your help just as much as you need theirs.

The Hell of Networking
Networking can be like hell when it is part of your job to be at events where passing out cards can seem like a waste of time. How many times have you gotten home after an event only to forget who that person was you were talking to? Many industries are popping up to help alleviate that problem, like Vistaprint, the savor of creating any kind of card to hand out to people. Unless you put your face on your card, no one will remember what you look like and what you do.

This is part of why people hate attending networking events. They find the table with the free drinks and hover there until someone else is lingering there and you make the usual insulting remark, “Boy, I hate coming to these networking events.” Whereby the other person replies, “yea, me too. The last time I was here I went home with like twenty cards, all of which went straight to the trash.” This ends with both laughing about how silly the whole thing is but ironically enough each giving the other their card because they enjoyed their time together making fun of everyone else.

Images of these from movies and past networking experiences conjures up bad feelings about networking parties and events. It is easy to see why so many people stay home at night instead of getting out and meeting people. The former doesn’t require any effort because it allows you to stick to your routine, and last time I checked nobody likes it when you mess with the status quo. The truth of the matter is that if you want to advanced your career, make a name for yourself, you need to be out networking.

The Many Faces of Networking
Networking comes in many different forms. Most people are introduced to these events in disguised called “parties” while growing up in school. At first the dance parties in middle school just consisted of boys on one side and girls on the other until some fateful soul makes the attempt to cross the line and asked one to dance. In high school things tend to change with parties being more open and free going at friends’ houses whereby your friends start to introduce you to more people you see in passing but don’t really know.

This is how your social circles start to expand and why the popular kids stay popular because they are always meeting new people and making new friends. The kids who don’t have many friends fear the aspect of getting rejected when they meet new people hence why they stay home more. This is an issue that continues for many who did not have a large social upbringing of always meeting new people. People with a poor social upbringing go on to attend less social events, less networking parties, and host less home events themselves.

College campuses provide many opportunities for people to explore their interests. This is why they say in student orientation, go out and join student organizations. You will meet new people who share the same interests, attend more social events that carry the same theme, and improve your social and networking skills all at the same time. Now think about all the people who go to college just for the courses and then ignore all the social events (or because they have to work) only to find that it is harder to find a job if and when they graduate. It has been shown over and over again that 80% of jobs are found through people you know and word-of-mouth referral. If this is where majority of jobs are found then why do people keep ignoring networking events? Partly because they have terrible networking skills.

College is filled with many opportunities to improve your social skills but the challenge to that is that you have to want to improve yourself first. You have to be aware of your lack of skills to know that you need help improving them. Many people grow up thinking that they don’t need these “soft skills” because they are not as important as having engineering skills or programming skills so they spend more time working on those to make themselves look good for who ever is hiring. Pro-Tip: Companies are more likely to hire someone from one of their current employee referrals than a new hire. Why? The company knows that the current employee has the skills and education needed to work at the company which translate to the type of people they socialize with. If they are friends with that person then they must same similar interests and skills. Pro Tip: Skills matter more than the name of the school you attended.

After college, if you still can not find jobs, applying online is a waste of time because you will only find the short end jobs that always need filling, why? Because most people don’t want to work in those jobs that is why those same job ads are always there. The turnover rate is high. The next networking landscape is specialized networking events. If you are an actor find networking events for your industry, if you are a programmer find networking events just for that, if you want to create businesses then network at incubators and pitch competitions. The challenge with this now is that once you find your area to connect with, how do you know what to do once you get there?

How to Work a Room
1. Approach with a Goal in Mind
Many people attend programs, workshops, and special events with no specific goal in mind. It is common to hear from people that they are only attending to find out what people are talking about and to get a feel for the “market trends” as they like to put it. This is just a simple way of saying, “I don’t know what I am looking for so I am just going with the flow.”

If you are attending a networking group or workshop on industrial design have in mind a few types of people you would like to meet and talk with. Once you have that figured out put a few more limitations on that, like, people who are currently employed with a design firm or industrial (engineering) firm. This will ensure that you are talking with people who understand what is happening in the market and that you learn more about their company and what positions they are hiring for. This also puts you in touch with currently employed contacts instead of people looking for work just like you. It is not uncommon to attend events like this and run into HR managers looking to hire talent right there on the spot. You just have to have the people skills to find them and know how to talk with them.

I attended a design workshop once where, when asked by the speaker how many were looking for work and how many were HR managers who had the ability to hire on the spot, half the room raised their hands looking for work and the other half were HR managers. The speaker then took it upon himself to tell the engineers literally what to say, “ok guys do you see the hands still up in the air? Here is what you do, go up to the person and say, “Hello, my name is so-and-so. I work as a such and such developer or engineer, please tell me more about the positions your company is hiring for.” It is not a secret that engineers have the worst people skills but this goes to show that many people still do not know how to work a room.

2. Work on your opening line
How many times have you run into people and you have to start the conversation? This can get trying for people who have to carry the whole conversation which creates a negative impression about you if you don’t have things to ask or talk about. People like talking with people who have something to share and say. When you meet a new person you should have an opening line that tells a little bit about yourself and leaves room open for the person to ask questions.

Examples: Hi, my name is Matthew, I teach middle school math for a private school and run an educational theater program on the weekends for low-income students. What do you do?

Hi, I’m Johnson, I’m a python coder for small businesses. How about yourself?

Hi, I’m Eric, so what brought you to tonight’s event?

Hi, I’m Frank, so how do you know the host of the party?

There are just a few opening lines to help you get a feel for how you should think about approaching others. You want to have something interesting to share or talk about in the beginning to help get the conversation going. If you can use humor to start things off then even better. Here are 8 more ideas on how to get a good first impression.

3. Stick to the 5 Minute Rule
It is great once you have a conversation going with people in a room. Sometimes the momentum is so great that you don’t want it to end so you figure you should play it safe and just enjoy your time. The truth of the matter is that you came to network and meet new people and you can not do that if you spend all your time talking to one person.

One of the rules that is popular in networking is the 5 minute rule. This means that in five minutes you should be able to introduce yourself, find out a little bit about the other person, share some ideas and connections, exchange business cards and set up a meeting to talk later. That is where the real connections happen later on. The event is to talk to as many people as you can so you can learn about who all is in the room and how you can help them and how they can help you. You spread out those connections throughout the week to meet up for lunch and talk further.

The 5 minute rule is a bit intimidating for new people because it requires a lot of advanced social skills to keep the conversation causal but not forced, friendly but not pushy, and easy going the whole way through. Sometimes the other person might go off on a tangent to tell a story so as to not come off as rude or pushy it requires some skill to bring the conversation back on track and move on.

This rule has exceptions of course, especially if there are not that many people at the event so there is no need to feel rushed but many times when these events only last an hour it can be hard to figure who to spend time with. If after you have talked with everyone then feel free to go back and finish a conversation with someone you enjoyed meeting.

4. Create special reminders on the back of business cards
It can be difficult to remember all the people you talked with at an event, especially if you attend at least three a week. The challenge with business cards is figuring out what to do with all of them after you have them. They take up space if you don’t plan on calling all of them back. The other challenge, once you have them, is remembering exactly what the both of you talked about. A simple trick is to draw or write something on the back of the card to remind you of what you both talked about.

This is really helpful because it keeps your memory on track and helps you pick up where you left off with the person. The simple act of remembering what you both talked about also leaves a positive impression with the person because it shows you cared to remember. The little things really do make a lasting impression with people.

5. Use Humor only if you know how
Humor is a fun tool to use if you know how it works. There are many people who are naturally funny and then there are those that couldn’t tell a joke to save their life. Being funny is a skill but a hard skill to learn if you did not grow up in a home where laughter was a common sound. Understanding the structure and dynamic to a joke is hard to learn in the beginning but worth the effort in the end. Once you know how to tell jokes and you have a natural wit then use it throughout your conversation. People enjoy being around others who can make them laugh and since laughter is the best medicine make sure to administer it when needed.

Humor is a great way to help break the icy feel of a conversation or a tense moment. Humor does many things for people who know how to use it correctly so if you have trouble with being funny or want to be remembered more then here are a few books to read.

How to be Funny on Purpose – Edgar E. Willis
How to be Funny – Davis Prick

6. Always Follow Up
This part is hard for many people afterwards. They feel the connection might not have been there as they thought. When you put to much thinking into something it starts to look different in a new light. Don’t over analyze something because you have no idea what else that person might be working on.

There are many great things you can say about what you remembered from the conversation from last night. It is important in your follow up to mention about meeting up sometime and talking further either for a quick coffee in the morning or lunch. Be sure to mention that you will also share their contact information with people who might be interested in their services. This shows that you are aware of what it is that they do but also willing to take your time to help give them more exposure. You will be surprised how much that really means to people to hear that. They will also feel the same about your services as well and offer the same help in return.


The last part is how you start to gain more exposure for yourself and your line of work. You need the help from other people to get your name out there. If you think that having a killer website and business cards is all that you need then you still do not understand the power of networking. The points I have listed here are just a few that I use when networking so understand there are a lot more things to consider. When you work as a freelancer or entrepreneur your whole line of work relies on excellent people skills. You need to understand how people are and how they present themselves in those kinds of situations.

This is why it is important to start attending as many events as possible. It doesn’t always have to be a networking event to meet people. Meetup.com is a perfect place to meet people of similar interests and connect through there. Once you start to improve your people skills then you can improve your networking skills and start landing job after job. But the only way to do that is to practice, practice, practice, and get yourself in front of people all the time.

Here are a few books you will want to read and study to get the most out of networking. Just remember, networking comes in all forms and just when you think you don’t need to attend anymore that probably means you need to connect with a new group of people to help you see a new perspective in life. Sometimes to get out of a rut the best thing to do is get into something new and challenging.

News Articles

How to Network Like Pro

5 Ways to Tame Your Busy Schedule and Network Like a Pro

How To Network The Right Way: Eight Tips

How to Network Like You Really Mean It

Business networking tips and techniques

Business Card Tips

Creating a Great Business Card

7 Ways to Make Your Business Card Your Best Marketing Tool

30 of the Most Creative Business Cards Ever

51 Creative Business Cards That Will Make You Look Twice

Awesome Business Cards

Books

How to Work a Room – Susan RoAne

Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi

Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail – Keith Kerrazzi

The Fine Art of Small Talk – Debra Fine

The Art of Mingling – Jeanne Martinet

The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure – Catherine Blyth

Confident Conversation: How to Communicate Successfully in Any Situation – Mike Bechtle

People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts – Robert Bolton

25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks – John C. Maxwell

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less – Nicholas Boothman

Networking like a Pro – Ivan Misner

Masters of Networking: Building Relationships for Your Pocketbook and Soul – Ivan Misner

Effortless Small Talk: Learn How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere… Even If You’re Painfully Shy – Andy Arnott

Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections – Derek Coburn

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love – Cal Newport

Social Fluency: Genuine Social Habits to Work a Room, Own a Conversation, and be Instantly Likeable…Even Introverts! – Patrick King

How To Be Social: Improve Your Social Skills to be Outgoing & Able to Walk Into Any Room, Work it like a Pro – Gabriel Angelo

How do you approach life?

Beware of the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life – Charles Darwin

Life is what happens while you are busy making plans. – John Lennon

Only a life lived for others is a life worth living. – Albert Einstein

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced – Soren Kierkegaard

She has been reading for the blind for 50 years

Reading can be a pleasurable experience when you have the right setting. People who can see take this passive activity for granted. They don’t see anything hard or difficult about it because they have been doing it for so long. In effort to show what people have been doing for others for a long time I decided to feature what this lady has been doing for the past 50 years all on her own time. Ellen Hanna has been volunteering to read for the blind and she has been doing it for 50 years now. Her work has gone on to help thousands, if not millions, of people be able to read again and learn.

Her mother started losing her eye sight long after she had started reading for the blind and the idea of a parent not being able to see their child again made her realize the true importance of her work. Ellen’s work is something she felt helps those see again. She started in 1963 with Learning Ally, which was then called Recording for the Blind, after attending a volunteer fair at the University of Georgia where her late husband, Mark Hanna, worked as a business professor.

In the video below Ellen talks about how she got started and what she enjoys about the program.

Ellen is part of a very exclusive club of members that have earned the distinguished title of 1000 hours member club. In the 50 years that she has been there Ellen has earned well past that number and then some. During those years she has recalled the different types of technology her non-profit company has gone through in order to help people gain access to the material. In many cases, having to record the material again because of a change in format. Recording on reel-to-reel was difficult because she mentions that you had to know at what point you messed up and go back and re-record all that information again. Now she has computer software to help track any errors she makes and can also turn her words into digital text. This allows the software to also highlight the word that is being spoken to help people follow along. Many people with disabilities are able to benefit from this new way of reading.

Dyslexic people are able to follow the highlighted word to help their eye stay focused on reading correctly. Blind people are able to listen to what the book is covering, and deaf people are able to follow along with the reader in order to keep up with the pace. There are many other benefits to this new form of reading.

The content that Ellen reads for is open to anything except popular fiction. She really enjoys reading science, math, and story books for all ages. Ellen has amassed a huge wealth of knowledge reading all that material because one, it makes her sit down and read it, and two, she learns just as much as when she is reading the material out loud. The part that gets people about reading is making the time to sit down and read. A program like volunteering to record for the blind is a structured way to get people to sit down and read, only this time you are reading out loud and being recorded.

Why Read to or for the Blind/Deaf/Dyslexic
People who read all the time don’t realize the effort involved. Someone with severe dyslexia can have trouble following along with a simple sentence. I wish there were more programs available that allowed people to come and read to the blind as there once were. Many senior nursing homes have people who are blind and are looking for volunteers to come and read to them or talk with them about a movie they are watching.

The huge benefit also comes from kids who are just learning to read or need help improving their reading skills. Reading to another person requires active participation on the reader to follow along correctly otherwise risk losing the listener in the process. The listener might call attention to a fact that doesn’t make sense, which might come about when they accidentally skip a sentence, which is common for first time or troubled readers.

When you read to or for the disabled you give back something that they do not have. Blind people must learn how to read with their fingers and by listening. They must form images in their mind as to what it is they are hearing or touching for the first time. Someone with excellent dictation and enunciation have gifts that can help another person learn or pass their time in an enjoyable way.

Ellen has said that her time with Learning Ally will be one where she will stop when they tell her they don’t need her anymore. That is dedication and heart. At 84 years old it will be awhile before she stops for good.


For more about who this wonderful lady is and what she does, you can read the articles below. If you want to get involved and donate an hour or two to help someone check out the links further below. Also remember that many public libraries, Amazon, and the central texas digital library consortium has many audiobooks to listen to as well.

News Articles

She’s spent half a century reading for the blind

Volunteer Spent 50 Years recording books for the disabled

Ellen Hanna, 84, Celebrates 50 years

Get Involved

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

Texas Talking Book Program

Book

What Blind People Wish Sighted People Knew About Blindness

These Apps Help the Blind See & Deaf Communicate

The power of crowdsourcing is all about bringing people together to solve a problem. Why spend all your time trying to solve a problem on your own when you could ask other people for help? When you bring people together to solve a problem you lower the cost and time to fix the problem. Crowdsourcing is the core power that drives majority of social media apps – you bring people together to solve two problems at the same time for businesses and friends. In the business world you have two groups of people that have needs, one needs a service and the other needs a job. By connecting the right people together the app solves a need right away. The apps for friends is evident because everyone wants to know what their friends are doing.

But what about certain areas that people forget about if they are not apart of that world? What about people who can not see and need help going about their day? Well there is an app that requests the help of people who can see with those who cannot. People who are blind can open the app and request the help from anyone. The app simply connects two people together which means that person could be anywhere in the world who speaks the same language. In case someone is busy or driving and can not answer the app there are other people all over who can pick up the call.

You can watch a demo of how the app works below

If you want to help and have an iPhone you can download the app and sign up. This is another way of helping people who struggle everyday by sharing your time. Most of the requests will be to read something they are holding or looking at. They will use their phone or tablet camera to show you what they are looking at so you can tell them in detail what it is. This can be very helpful to a blind person that needs a little help every now and then.

You visit their website to find out more about them. Be My Eyes

You can read more about this app in this news article.

Helping Deaf People Communicate
There are also apps that can help with many other disabilities. People who are deaf have a hard time dealing with people so being able to understand them clearly is important. The app I see what you say allows people to speak into a smartphone and then the words come out on the screen or a smartwatch. There is also a feature of the app for when a person rotates their wrist in a certain motion it will automatically launch the app.

This app was created by an entrepreneur who is deaf and also a Lyft driver. His name is Jibril Jaha and he is the co-founder, along with Michael Boyd, of Digital Army Devices, a company he created to help deaf people communicate with anybody else. He saw the importance of using technology to bridge the gap between these two problems. Deaf people know how to sign but not everyone understands how to interpret sign language. In order to overcome this issue he created an app that takes what a person says and translate it into text using Google Voice.

The voice-to-text translation technology has been around for a long time with word processing programs and speech-to-text technology coming before all of it today. His job as a Lyft driver helps him make money for his company while testing out the use of his app. You can think of his work with people as a little laboratory where he gets to meet a lot of different people and test for bugs. His job puts him in contact with lots of different people he wouldn’t normally meet so the fact that he brought the two together was a very smart idea. The app currently costs

Another great product that will soon help deaf people communicate is the UNI tablet. It “reads” sign language and translates the motions into words. The technology comes from Leap Motion, which is technology that translates motion into an action the computer can understand. Surprisingly enough the device for home use has been around for about 3 years now and every Christmas is not one of the hot-ticket items on everyone’s list even though you can do some amazing things with it. If you would like to buy a leap motion device you can purchase it here or at any Bestbuy location. Watch the video below to see how the tablet translates sign-language into words.

You can watch this video of Ryan Hait-Campbell talk about how and why he created Motion Savvy, which is a company comprised of only deaf employees. Their goal for the device is to be able to read over 20,000 signs, which it currently sits at 300. The tablet itself costs around $800 and $20 a month for service.


The push to help people with disabilities is moving faster and faster as technology starts to fill in the gaps between each problem. Pretty soon people will be able to see in their virtual eyewear devices what a person is signing and have it translated into speech that is fed directly to their blue-tooth ear piece. Is that kind of technology possible today? It is, it just needs support and funding to help make it commercial and to work out all the bugs.  If you think about that for a minute you will see how far we have progressed for mankind. We have the technology to make that possible, we just need more funding to help companies like Motion Savvy and Digital Army Devices help make it all possible.

Be sure to mention these apps to anyone you know who might benefit from them, or better yet, share this article with them.