Microsoft adds a digital health feature to its Android launcher

Microsoft is adding its own digital health feature to its Android launcher app. While Google has added a similar feature to Android Pie, Microsoft’s Launcher will let any Android users access the ability to track how long apps are being used for. You can track screen time, app usage, and even the amount of times you’ve unlocked your phone. Microsoft Launcher is supported on Android 4.2 and above, so it opens the digital health feature up to a lot of Android users.

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Instagram is now using AI to describe photos for users with visual impairments

Instagram announced today that it’s rolling out new features that will make the app easier to use for people with visual impairments. The changes will allow screen readers to describe photos, either automatically using AI or by reading custom descriptions added by users.

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Alphabet's Verily Halts Diabetes-Detecting Contact Lens Project

Alphabet Inc.’s experimental medical technology unit Verily halted one of its longest-running projects on Friday: the development of a contact lens that measures glucose levels of people with diabetes.

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Apple Watch Heart Study With Stanford Signs Up 400,000 People

More than 400,000 people have signed up for a Stanford University study being sponsored by Apple Inc. to examine whether Apple Watch can detect patients with undiagnosed heart rhythm problems, one of the largest heart screening studies ever to be conducted.

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Microsoft's Nadella Says AI Can make the World More Inclusive

Talk of articial intelligence often leads to speculation about how machines may displace workers. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thinks we should talk more about how AI algorithms can expand the workforce now—by helping people with disabilities.

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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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Xbox: Accessible games can “mean the difference between existing and living” for disabled people

Microsoft continues to position itself as a paragon for inclusivity - but it's also keen to get more developers, publishers and platform holders involved in the conversation.

The firm gained a great deal of attention earlier this summer when it announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a device that enabled disabled gamers to adapt standard control schemes with a variety of custom inputs suited to their unique circumstances.

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Firefox makers working on voice-controlled web browser called Scout

Mozilla, the organization behind Firefox, is exploring a very different web browser called Scout that's operated by voice rather than keyboard, mouse or touch-screen taps.

The nonprofit revealed the Scout project in an agenda item for an all-hands meeting taking place this week in San Francisco. "With the Scout app, we start to explore browsing and consuming content with voice,"

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Home, smart home: Internet of Things and AI will make where we live more accessible

Independence. For people with disabilities and the aging population, it’s more than a word—it’s a catalyst for fulfillment and dignity. Home is where that independence and quality of life can be realized. The aging population wants to safely live in their own homes as long as possible. People with disabilities want a home designed for their specific needs. Ultimately, a more accessible home will help people feel connected and valued, and reduce loneliness.

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Apple finally moves beyond the shadow of Steve Jobs with a truly life-changing product

Some industry watchers believed that Apple couldn't move out of the shadow of Steve Jobs and carve out for itself a new and different direction. Yesterday, under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple proved them wrong.

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