For athletes who use a wheelchair, and everyday wheelchair users looking to track their exercise and calories burned, Apple has good news for you. Apple Watch will include manual wheelchair fitness tracking in its free watchOS 3.0 update, to be released later this year.
Apple made the announcement at their annual WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) on June 13, 2016. In watchOS 3, the Activity app will offer a setting for wheelchair users. Wheelchair pushes contribute to all-day calorie goals, the “time to stand” reminder becomes “time to roll,” and dedicated wheelchair-specific workouts are available.With this update, Apple Watch will become the first fitness tracking device for wheelchair users. “We want to make products that serve every walk of life,” Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, said in an interview. “We realized that while it was great for messages on the wrist, we wanted to offer [people with disabilities] the same opportunity to get healthier using Apple Watch.”
Curated by (Lifekludger) read full article at Source: Apple Watch to Offer First Wheelchair Fitness Tracking Feature | The Mighty
What applies to iPhones and iPads also applies to Apple Watch. In the context of the Watch, the hardware that is most crucial, accessibility-wise, are the bands. To folks like me who suffer from motor delays, the ability to successfully get the Apple Watch on and off is as key to a positive user experience as the quality of the software it runs.
Why Accessible Bands Matter
Before getting into the specifics of Apple Watch bands, it’s worth giving context as to why, for someone with motor impairments, the ability to get a watch on and off by yourself is important. This point is a bit existential, but bear with me.
In a word, it’s about independence.
For all my gripes about the Sport band, there is one fact that I’ve taken solace in: the truth is in the different bands. I fully realize that if the Sport band isn’t working for me, I can always find an alternative that is easier for me to get on. For me, the alternative is bands with magnets. Apple sent me a Milanese Loop for review purposes, and I’ve found it to be the polar opposite of my Sport band in terms of accessibility. The Milanese Loop is accessible in every way that the Sport band isn’t.
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Read full article at Source: The Accessibility of Apple Watch Bands – MacStories
… an idea that could change the way the visually impaired interact with technology. The students created a startup to develop and produce an affordable active Braille smartwatch, called Dot. When wearing Dot, users can check the time, read incoming text messages or tweets, and even e-books–although reading “War and Peace” four characters at a time might not be the most efficient way to catch up on the classics.
Similar to other smartwatches on the market, Dot is designed to pair with a Bluetooth-enabled phone. When a text message arrives on the phone, the app translates it to Braille and sends it to Dot (which vibrates) and then the pins rise and fall to relay the characters. Other Dot features include a watch, alarm and notifications. Initial tests show Dot should last about five days between charges.
Curated by Lifekludger, full article at Source: A Smartwatch for the Visually Impaired | XPRIZE
“We love this kind of problem. This is exactly what Apple does best.”
That’s how Tim Cook prefaced the reveal of Apple Pay last September—by talking about the many issues with physical credit cards. To me, Apple Pay is emblematic of what Apple does best: integrating hardware and software in a seamless, easy to use way that truly does “just work.” It feels like magic every time I use it.
I wrote last year about the accessibility merits of Apple Pay in context of my iPhone 6, and those words remain true today. But with the advent of Apple Watch, Apple’s payments service is taken to the next level in terms of accessibility. For as great as Apple Pay is on my iPhone, it’s my strong belief that the experience is even better on my wrist.
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Read full article at Source: Apple Watch makes Apple Pay even better for accessibility | iMore
A new pair of watch apps from pharmaceutical company Novartis has been launched with the intent of helping the visually impaired. The first app, Via Opta Nav, provides turn-by-turn navigation in the manner of Google Maps or Waze, but directions are provided with both voice directions and with haptic feedback. The second app, only available for smartphones (because it relies on camera feedback that smartwatches can’t provide just yet), allows the user to identify objects and places just by pointing the camera at them.
Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Two New Smartwatch Apps Aim to Help the Visually Impaired
From an accessibility standpoint, the Apple Watch’s screen is just too small for me to get a lot from apps. As someone with low vision, I try to minimize my interaction with the watch; I don’t want to spend much time looking at the screen for fear of increased eye strain and fatigue.
The bottom line is that I want only the essentials on my wrist. I want to be informed, but more to the point, I want to save my eyes from undue stress. Quick glances, with minimal squinting (and scrolling).
Source: Accessibility and Apple Watch apps | Macworld
A woman who is deaf and registered blind has described the way that the Apple Watch has been able to help her navigate and communicate with friends.
Molly Watt, an activist and blogger, lives with Usher Syndrome and is deaf and registered blind. Apple products are “more than just up market gadgets”
One of the main — though invisible — features of the Apple Watch is its “taptic engine”, which uses soft vibrations to alert its wearer to certain events. As well as working for notifications, the technology also allows people to navigate without actually looking at the screen, giving different nudges for left and right.
Source: Apple Watch: Invisible feature helps woman who is deaf and registered blind to navigate – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent