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Why Mobiles Are Important People engage with their phones and even people who are afraid of technology own and use them. Mobile phones were identified in the Horizon Report (2009) as the technologies with the highest likelihood of entry into the mainstream of learning-focused institutions within the next year. http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2009/
Iansyst, JISCTechDis and University of Southampton are conducting a survey on use of mobile phones as Assistive Technology – Me and My Mobile Phone All are welcome to participate http:// tinyurl.com/phoneuser Over 235 responses so far.
“ I use the text to speech package to read stuff to me when I am out and about. I also use the organisational features to run my life as I am dyslexic” “ Access to information and friends quickly” “ I am deaf so the text function is invaluable. I also use it to check on news for example I arrive at a station and there is lots of police so I look up to see if there is any thing on the local news I should know about.”
I am dyslexic, dyspraxic. I use it as a memory tool for phone and fax numbers, email addresses, names, appointments. I also use it to type up thoughts on issues churning in my head while stuck in traffic jams / waiting for appointments / when I go to bed and remember stuff I need to do tomorrow - but won't remember in the morning - i.e. I email me.
“ I have an iPAQ 6925 adopted for single switch access via an EMG sensor. I rely on my Smartphone for calling caregivers, text messaging colleagues and friends, checking email, managing contacts and calendar, making brief notes, reading journal articles, technical manuals, news and eBooks.”
If your phone could read out any of the following things would you use this feature? 44% said that they would use Text To Speech The most popular options were for reading emails appointments and reminders.
If you could control your phone by speaking to it would you use this feature? Answer Options Response Percent Never 29.4% Occasionally 50.6% Quite often 16.0% All the time 3.9%
Are there things that make it hard to use your phone? Answer Options Yes Sometimes No The screen is too small 65 66 86 The colours are difficult to see 12 38 156 The text size is wrong 18 50 138 The keys are difficult to use 44 76 92 It is difficult to hold 14 34 156 Its too complicated 16 45 148
Devices are coming with larger screens e.g.: iPhone, Touch HD, TG01 Programmes that automatically Reflow Text make reading easier Text to Speech – no screen needed Pico Projection
Improved touch screen interfaces remove the need for a physical keyboard & mouse and many physical buttons also have software keys
Many phones have slide out QWERTY keyboards
Alternative methods of controlling interfaces such as voice and gesture:
Voice command & limited speech recognition programmes are available and improving steadily
Windows Mobile 7 will include gesture control via front facing camera
Phones sold without contracts are expensive BUT look what you get: Phone Camera GPS Email Internet Media Player Mobile Office Applications Contracts subsidise the cost of handsets and costs are falling due to market & regulatory pressure “ Mobile phones have proved to be more durable than netbooks like the EEE PC and repair turn around is quicker when they do break” Bristol City Learning Centre