The latest top tech tips

Here is the latest of our regular roundups of our favourite products, tips and tricks.

Apple SignTime

BSL Apple users can now access Apple’s retail customer care teams quickly and easily through the new ‘SignTime’ service. This means you no longer need to think about booking a BSL interpreter in advance. We have found that it’s quick to connect and you can also use it in Apple stores too. To start a call, go to:

RNIB Talking Books Alexa skill

Did you know that you can now access RNIB talking books through Alexa? You will need a few things in place first, such as an Amazon Echo device (Alexa), be connected to an Amazon account, to be a member of the RNIB reading services and have the RNIB Talking Books Alexa skill linked to your RNIB reading services account.

Once this is in place you can access over 34,000 books from the library by just saying: “Alexa, open RNIB talking books”.

To find out more and receive additional set up support, click here to visit the RNIB support page.

Ego4D Project

Ego4D is a project led by the Facebook AI (artificial intelligence) team to create an ‘egocentric’ rich dataset of video footage which will help them to develop AI systems to help us in our everyday life. The team are working with research participants to record more than 2000 hours of video footage of personalised interactions with objects, our environment and people. This will help them to develop a number of systems such as using a computer to locate missing keys, or helping us to learn to play a musical instrument.

Braille Tutor for iPad

One of our members has recommended the Braille Tutor app for iPads, which gives you the chance to practice braille even if you don’t have a braille keyboard. The free version of the app will give you 19 lessons, and you can pay £1.99 for a further 72 lessons. This is available on iOS or above.

RNIB Accessible Radio

We are often asked for help in setting up and using radios. Many people struggle with tuning in radio stations and identifying what all the buttons actually do. The new RNIB digital radio solves many of these accessibility challenges – and we love it!

It has large, tactile buttons which audibly describe what they do; a high contrast LCD display featuring white text on a black background; a USB port to playback RNIB talking books; programmable voice memos to help with medication reminders and important calendar events and even a low temperature alerting system. There is also a 3.5mm headphone socket – compatible with neckloops. For more information click here. 


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Open Hand is our free, quarterly magazine containing articles and information that are tailored specifically to people with dual sensory loss.

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