The annual Festival of Glass is held in Drysdale, Victoria (Australia). Established in 2011, the Festival celebrates the beauty and versatility of glass in art, craft and industry and it promotes collaboration between people who work with glass. Unique in Australia, the Festival joins a handful of similar events worldwide.
The Festival of Glass is an initiative of the Drysdale and Clifton Springs Community Association Inc.
Monday, March 18, 2013
'Glass' could help people with disabilities
Google's project Glass offers 'augmented reality' - computer and smart phone technology -
through a pair of glass spectacles.
Google's Glass project
controlled via voice commands, rather than any form of keyboard. It also
superimposes text over the view through the glasses - a form of the 'heads up
display' being installed in the windscreens of planes and - soon - some cars.
To promote Glass, Google ran a competition
online - 'If I Had Glass' - that attracted thousands of ideas (sorry - it
closed on February 27). Many of these consisted, essentially, of doing the
sorts of things that we do already on laptops and tablets, e.g. presenting
reviews of hotels and restaurants, analysing information about meals and
workouts to track daily calorie turnover. More interestingly, disability advocacy
group Media Access Australia (MAA) (www.mediaaccess.org.au)
has grasped the potential for Glass to enhance
the lives of people with disabilities.
So Che was an early adopter of Glass!
MAA's suggestions concern three areas. The
first is mobility, where the device's reliance on voice commands could enable
people with conditions (e.g. arthritis, quadriplegia) that restrict their
mobility to perform tasks normally associated with keyboards. Secondly, Glass could help people with impaired hearing. Already, it can display
captions automatically; as the software develops, Glass could convert speech to text and superimpose it over the view
through the glasses, 'essentially making real life conversation captioned'
(MAA) and providing access to information communicated aurally (e.g. train time
updates). Finally, while Glass has been
developed with only sighted users in mind, MAA sees opportunities for it to
assist people with sight impairments. 'For instance, Glass could integrate
facial recognition software so that blind users are made aware of who is in
front of them. Similarly, Glass could use optical character recognition to read
out information such as street signs or identify landmarks.' (MAA)