The Affordances Of Mobile Technologies

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This is my take on what is going on in the world of mobile technology and how we can use it as Assistive Technology not just for people with disabilities but to makle everyone's life easier.

This is my take on what is going on in the world of mobile technology and how we can use it as Assistive Technology not just for people with disabilities but to makle everyone's life easier.

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  • 1. The Affordances of Mobile Technologies Ease of use and accessibility Neil Milliken Head of Mobile Development Iansyst Ltd
  • 2. Overview
    • Why Mobile?
    • Issues with Mobile Devices
    • Addressing the Issues
    • Different Strokes – iPhone vs Windows Mobile vs S60 vs Blackberry vs Android
    • Strategies for Use
    • Tools available for mobile
  • 3. Why Mobiles Are Important
    • Global Mobile Phone Penetration passed 50% in 2007 and is still growing.
    • UK has 110% penetration (more active SIMs than members of the population).
    • This outstrips by far the ownership and use of personal computers.
    • 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.
  • 4. The Changing Nature of Mobile Devices – The Birth of Truly Mobile Computing
    • Whilst growth of low end handsets has slowed the “Smart-Phone” segment of the market has continued to grow despite world wide recession.
    • Most of these devices have a 400Mhz or higher processor.
    • Toshiba have just launched the TG01 which has a 1Ghz processor and 512Mb RAM – More powerful than my 1 st Speech Recognition PC!
  • 5. Perceived Barriers to Use The Physical
    • Small Screen
    • Lack of Keyboard and Mouse
    • Fiddly Buttons
    • Durability
    • Cost:
        • Price of handsets
        • Price of contracts
  • 6. Perceived Barriers to Use The Pedagogical
    • Scepticism from some education practitioners who consider them distracting
    • Mobile Learning is just the latest fad:
      • Gordon Shukwit director of IT & Learning Apple world wide “everyone gets excited at first and then people get bogged down in the implementation and getting to grips with new ways of working. Until someone finds a way to augment the technology and add value.”
    • Blurring of formal & personal environments
    • Diverse range of platforms and standards:
      • Hinders deployment
      • Makes development more costly and complex
  • 7. Addressing the Issues Small Screens
    • Devices are coming with larger screens e.g.: iPhone, Touch HD, Touch Pro 2 & Toshiba TG01
    • Programmes that automatically Reflow Text make reading easier
    • Text to Speech – no screen needed
    • Pico Projection
  • 8. Addressing the Issues Input & Control
    • 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
  • 9. Addressing the Issues Cost & Durability
    • 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 eeepc and repair turn around is quicker when they do break” Bristol CLC
  • 10. Different Strokes for Different Folks Which Operating System Suits You?
    • iPhone 3GS/ OSX The pros
    • Ultra cool with a nice intuitive interface “sexy”
    • Good for media
    • Lots of applications & developers
    • iTunes University lots of great content
    • Lots of memory
    • iPhone / OSX The Cons
    • Expensive & Tied to O2 contract
    • Unable to run multiple programmes simultaneously
    • Currently only 1 handset
    • Not as durable as other devices (screens easy to crack)
    • Not great for larger fingers
  • 11. iPhone 3GS New Features
    • Recording Application
    • Spotlight Search
    • Cut Copy & Paste (finally)
    • Improved 3 Mp Camera with Autofocus and Geotagging
    • Voice Control & Voice Over
    • Zoom & High Contrast
    • Compass
  • 12. Different Strokes for Different Folks Which Operating System Suits You?
    • Windows Mobile the Pros
    • Familiarity – looks like windows
    • Reasonable Cameras
    • Wide range of handsets to suit all needs
    • Lots of Educational developers on Windows Platform
    • Spell Checking built in
    • Ability to run multiple programmes at once
    • Comes with Office
    • Windows Mobile the Cons
    • It’s Windows – suffers from stability issues & need to reboot often
    • Clunkier interface than some other platforms
    • Manufacturers & Network operators customise the interface – inconsistency
    • Not “sexy”
    • Long wait for Windows Mobile 7
  • 13.
    • Blackberry The Pros
    • Great for Text & Email
    • Popular in the work environment
    • Good Cameras
    • Good support for developers – expect more applications
    • Blackberry The Cons
    • Small Screen (most devices)
    • Small Keys
    • Less Education focussed
    Different Strokes for Different Folks Which Operating System Suits You?
  • 14. Different Strokes for Different Folks Which Operating System Suits You?
    • Nokia / Symbian S60 The Pros
    • Stable Platform
    • Great Cameras
    • Wide Range
    • High number of users world wide
    • Nokia / Symbian S60 The Cons
    • Seen as lagging behind the competition
    • Had been prone to viruses
    • Less 3 rd party developers
  • 15. Different Strokes for Different Folks Which Operating System Suits You?
    • Google Android The Pros
    • Open Source
    • Links with other Google apps
    • Google Android The Cons
    • Open Source
    • Limited handsets currently
    • Limited availability
    • Limited applications currently
    It is too early to judge what impact Android will have on the mobile world
  • 16. Strategies Benefiting from what’s available to empower learning and aid organisation
    • Using Outlook / Exchange server
    • Text to Speech Readers
    • Dictionaries
    • Calculators
    • Using The Camera
    • GPS
    • Mobile internet
    • Using inbuilt recording
    • Portable storage
    • Mobile Mentoring
    • Voice Control / Speech Input
  • 17. Using Email Outlook & Exchange server
    • Pocket outlook and exchange server synchronisation to enable people to learn and work effectively.
      • Tasks
      • Reminders
      • Time Management
      • OneNote
    • It is always on unlike a PC or laptop
    • Distribution of documents via e-mail, web, and SMS to mobile devices.
      • Access to information away from the computer
      • Access to information earlier in the cycle and giving participants time to understand and digest information.
  • 18. Text to Speech Readers
    • Text to Speech gives people access to comprehension of work / study documents on their mobile
    • The quality of the voice is really key - if you are listening to long documents you want a natural sounding voice and to be able to control the speed - too fast can't keep up, too slow and it damages comprehension but everyone has a different speed
    • Need for privacy – use a headset most smart phones come with wired headsets but if you want Bluetooth to work you will need to make sure that it is A2DP
    • It is important to make a distinction between the tools designed for the blind and those designed for those with specific learning difficulties
  • 19. Dictionaries & Calculator
    • Most phone have inbuilt calculators
    • Most phones have a T9 dictionary & predictive text – This is a mixed blessing as you can teach it to misspell
    • Windows Mobile has a spellchecker in Word & Outlook
    • Lots of dictionaries available to download:
    • English Language
    • Dual Language
    • Medical etc
  • 20. Using the Camera
    • It’s not just for posting pictures on Facebook, Flikr or Picasa – Pictures tap into the power of your visual memory:
    • Use Photo Contacts
    • Take pictures of what’s on the whiteboard or of what’s going on in lectures or meetings
    • Use it to capture information and OCR it
    • Use Geo tagging to time, date & location stamp where you took a picture.
  • 21. GPS
    • Not only can you Geotag your Photos but you can use the GPS to help you to find your way around – Just remember to tell the software that you are using that you are walking not driving or you will go the long way round.
    • Companies are building applications that use the GPS to serve location specific information to users
  • 22. Mobile internet
    • Access to Search
    • Access to VLEs - Moodle etc
    • Access to download apps
    • Access to news & information
    • Access speeds can be slow depending on your network, tariff and location
  • 23. Using inbuilt recording
    • Ability to record voice memos on most smart phones
    • You can use windows mobile devices and iPhones to record meetings and lectures – saves carrying a separate voice recorder
    • Using an adaptor you can plug in a decent microphone
    • Transfer your voice recordings (of yourself) to your pc and use Dragon to transcribe them – requires you to navigate the file & folder structure
    • No index marking
  • 24. Portable storage
    • Most smart phones come with or have the capacity to add massive amounts of storage. Use your mobile as a portable document store – one less thing to carry and forget
    • You can use the phone as a portable external hard drive – don’t synchronise just drag and drop your files (recordings, pictures, word documents, notes etc) onto your desktop.
  • 25. Mobile Mentoring
    • It’s a phone – you can use it to stay in touch this means that support is only a call away wherever you are
    • Easier to get hold of people both for the student and the teaching staff
  • 26. Voice Control / Speech Input
    • Command & Control is well established and can be used for limited control of programmes and voice dialling but the experience is patchy:
      • Depends on consistency of speaker
      • Background noise
      • Which package you use
    • True Speech Recognition is not available yet:
      • There is limited dictation of SMS for some S60 phones
      • There are a number of Server based SR solutions where you send your recording over the air to have it transcribed. E.g. Tellme & Spinvox
  • 27. Mobile TTS & OCR Applications
    • Capturatalk V2
    • Windows Mobile
    • Designed for Dyslexia and literacy issues – not VI does not screen read
    • Has inbuilt Oxford English Dictionary
    • Abbyy Fine reader OCR
    • Simple always available menu
    • Reads large documents
    • Affordable (£359 ex VAT with Phone)
    • High quality voice (Acapela Lucy)
    • Highlights during readback
    • Will read PDF and Epub in v 2.1
  • 28. Mobile TTS & Screen Readers
    • K Reader
    • Runs on Nokia N82
    • US English
    • Is designed for VI
    • Helps users focus camera
    • Can screen read if you buy it with Nuance Talks
    • Highlights during readback
    • Expensive Around £1000
  • 29. Mobile TTS & Screen Readers
    • Talks – Nuance voices not available on Windows mobile or iPhone
    • Smartread – Will read files but poor interface and the voice is not very natural
    • MobileSpeak – Will do screen reading but the voice is not great and it completely froze my device
    • Fonix – Small application footprint but generally not pleasant to listen to.
    • Voiceover now included with the iPhone – voice is not very natural.
  • 30. Note taking & Memos Notes iPhone & Windows Mobile MS One note Microsoft Recite     Evernote Multiplatform Web based
  • 31. Geotagging Applications
    • Hand-e-pix from Handheld PCs takes advantage of all the technology in today's Smartphone's to enable your mobile workers to capture images, (time and date stamped) along with additional data and a GPS location. This information is then updated in real time to a secure website via the cellular network which is then presented in a database form or in a GIS system of your choice such as Google Maps!
    • Geotagging built in to new iPhone
  • 32. Geotagging Applications
  • 33. Conclusion
    • Make use of what you have
    • Work to styles that suit you
    • Using a mixture of the strategies & technologies mentioned today should bring benefits