How to Find Google's New Built-In Breathing Exercise

The TechWatch editors have selected this news item because it is analogous to our LiveWell development project BreatheWell Wear.   We hope you can try out both BreatheWell Wear and Google's web-based breathing exercise.

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Xbox Adaptive Controller to Improve the Gaming Experience for People with Disabilities

This September, Xbox will release a new video game controller that has been developed intentionally for people with limited mobility. For those with physical impairments, the standard controllers that come with an Xbox can be impossible to use. Because of this, Xbox has designed a controller that includes ports for a multitude of other devices such as switches, specially made joy sticks, and foot controllers. They advertise that the adaptive controller will include “"Nineteen 3.5mm ports and two USB 2.0 ports for external inputs. One 3.5mm stereo headset jack for audio." Xbox is also selling other accessories such as wheelchair mounts and leg mounts. 

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Congressional Record Announcement regarding the NIDILRR 40th Anniversary

Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, on behalf of millions of people with disabilities, today I wish to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, NIDILRR, and its 40 years of accomplishments and contributions to the lives of people with disabilities.

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Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller first look: A new, necessary gamepad

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is the first of its kind. It's a plug-and-play option for people with disabilities -- it connects to the Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC via Bluetooth, and powers on just like the Elite. The controller itself is a clean white rectangle, about 11 inches long and 6 inches wide, with two large black buttons on its face. The buttons aren't touchpads, but they are light-touch enabled, clicking down with the softest of taps so players can roll their palm between the two or otherwise click them without exerting much force. Each button makes a slightly different noise as well, offering an extra layer of sensory input.

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Apple, Microsoft and Google join forces to create a universal standard for braille displays

A substantial move for technology accessibility was made today as the non-profit USB Implementer Forum (USB-IF) announced a new standard for braille displays – underpinned by an agreement between major tech companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft. The standard will make it much easier to use braille displays across different devices

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Non-Profit Organization Limbitless Solutions Promoting Innovative Solutions for People with Limited Mobility

Limbitless Solutions, a non-profit organization developed with the intention of “building a generation of innovators who use their skills and passion to improve the world around them”, is doing just that through their work with bionic arms and development of other assistive technologies. The organization is a direct support organization of University of Central Florida that was started in 2014. Within just four years, their solutions have already reached 179 countries.  

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ALS Association initiates Project Revoice to enable voice cloning for ALS patients losing voices

At the start of 2018, Project Revoice, a voice cloning technology initiative was launched. The mission of Project Revoice states, “ALS is also known as Motor Neuron Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that, amongst other symptoms, often takes away a person’s ability to speak. Project Revoice is a non-profit initiative with the ultimate goal to ensure that no one living with ALS will ever have to suffer being robbed of their voice”.

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Republic Wireless’ new Relay communication device has potential to further enable ICT access.

A new device released by Republic Wireless at the beginning of 2018, called the Relay, was designed to provide children with a screenless communication device. The device gives kids more freedom,while giving parents’ peace of mind by providing a way to both locate and communicate with their children without the need for standard phones.


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iMedicalApps: App Assesses Frailty in Older Patients - But doesn't help interpret results and lacks references

As our population continues to age, providers, patients, and their families will continue to struggle with how best to assess and help frail geriatric patients. The Essential Frailty Toolset (EFT) helps providers tease out the association between frailty and surgical mortality.

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mHealth Data Adds Detail, Meaning to Population Health Programs

Smartphones have long been considered an ideal mHealth tool for personalized medicine, capable of collecting individual data and pushing out targeted reminders and information. Now that data is being used to power population health programs, with strong success.

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LiveWell RERC Releases Amazon Echo Skill That Reads TechWatch and LiveWell News Blogs

LiveWell RERC development staff recently released an Amazon Echo Skill that will read aloud the latest posts from our two blogs, TechWatch and LiveWell News.  The new skill can be installed on the Amazon Alexa app and then utilized on any Amazon Echo product.  The skill taps into the RSS feeds from our blogs and is called the LiveWell News Skill.    Once enabled, saying the command “Alexa, what’s the news”, or “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing,” will allow your Echo to read aloud the latest LiveWell RERC news feeds.  A user will only get information if it has been updated within the past week.  The LiveWell RERC developer of the new skill from Duke University, Leighanne Davis, says “The new skill will make the news feeds more accessible and convenient to a variety of users by providing speech output.”

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Devising new metrics for senior health with the smart home

The U.S. healthcare industry is undergoing seismic changes brought on in large part by a growing greying population. Home­based care and connected aging with smart environments for seniors are gaining traction as pivotal solutions, with the number of skilled nursing homes in the country stagnating for more than a decade. Fortunately many seniors — 90% — prefer to age in place in their own homes.

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Startup aims to improve web access for disabled people

Canada­based startup Essential Accessibility is taking steps to make web browsing and accessing online services easier for people with disabilities, and hopes to build out a substantial business with enterprises worldwide.

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