Tag: smartphone technology

Mobile technology could be the key to help visually impaired people to see

A new tech is being developed that would allow people with reduced vision to see using smartphones.

Scientists at the University of Lincoln, in the United Kingdom, are using the funding that they have received through a Google Faculty Research Award to come up with a new type of mobile technology that would allow people who have reduced vision to be able to see using smartphones or tablets.

The goal is to make it easier for these individuals to navigate indoor environments that are unfamiliar.

The Lincoln Center for Autonomous Systems now has a team at work on assistive tech that will be using mobile technology for color and depth sensing through smartphones and tablets, in conjunction with localization and 3D mapping, object recognition, and navigation, to help the visually impaired. The goal is to come up with an interface that will effectively relay information about the surrounding environment to users by way of sounds, vibrations, or spoken words.

This will take a common form of mobile technology and make it into an important assistive device.

Mobile Technology Could Help the Visually ImpairedAccording to the leader of the project, Dr. Nicola Bellotto, “This project will build on our previous research to create an interface that can be used to help people with visual impairments.” Dr. Bellotto is an expert on human-centered robotics and machine perception from the School of Computer Science at Lincoln.

He has pointed out that while there are many different types of visual aids currently available – from wearable sensors and cameras to guide dogs – each of them come with their own range of usability and acceptability drawbacks. That said, he added that “If people were able to use technology embedded in devices such as smartphones, it would not require them to wear extra equipment which could make them feel self-conscious.”

There are already certain mobile apps that exist that are meant to help users to be able to recognize the layout of a place or to identify an object, but the team at Lincoln is hoping to create something that reaches far beyond the current products. They want to use mobile technology that is specifically relevant to the visually impaired user.

Mobile technology is the tech of choice for social workers

The results of a recent study showed that 96 percent of employees in this industry want these devices.

According to the results of a survey of the members of the National Association of Social Workers, mobile technology is a very important tool that allows those people to be able to do their job.

The survey asked two primary questions of the social workers and the responses were overwhelming.

The research was conducted by SocialWorkHelper.com and it asked two separate questions of the members of the association. The first was “Do you think mobile technology would help you do your job?” and the second was “Is mobile technology for social workers a priority for your organization?” The results were quite clear and showed that tech such as smartphones and tablets could play a critical role in the life of a social worker and in his or her ability to do the job well, conveniently, and efficiently.

Among the respondents, 96 percent said that mobile technology would be beneficial to their jobs.

Mobile Technology  Prefered by Social WorkersOn the other hand, the responses showed that social workers do not feel that their organizations think that mobile tech is as much of a priority as the individual employees do. When asked if their organizations feel that it is a priority, only 55 percent said that they felt that it was. According to the report on the research, it means that while the individuals feel that mobile devices could help them to do their jobs, they don’t feel that their organizations are prioritizing the tools that they need in order to be as efficient and as effective as they can be.

This isn’t good news for the industry, as that type of conflicting mindset can be damaging to overall morale and can result in worker frustration and even burnouts.

The report stated that the results of the survey indicated that mobile tools could be very helpful particularly in areas such as child protective services (CPS), and that the areas in which social workers can benefit the most from mobile technology includes:

• Less time spent on paperwork
• Greater access to useful information while in the field
• Reduced time with families and children
• Lower risk of burnout
• Improved data collection and information quality