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RE: Accessible mobile phones (slightly ot)

From: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 14:34:50 +0100
Message-ID: <FDFC0668A850D246BC4231715D94904E0CD923@uranus.jkd.co.uk>
To: "WAI List (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
And then I forgot again. Just one of those days, apologies to those who get this twice!

I found this: http://www.e-accessibility.com/issues/apr2001.html#J I have cut and paste it below. This might be a good place to start. Again, if I can find anything of interest regarding this subject I will post to the list.




By Kevin Carey humanity@atlas.co.uk

Bluetooth, named after the 10th century Viking King Harald Blatand who united Denmark and Norway, is a wireless communications protocol set to revolutionise the way blind people can access technology in the home and office.

Developed by the mobile phone giant Ericsson and already adopted by such companies as IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola and Sony, it uses radio frequencies to enable a wide variety of devices to communicate with each other over short distances.

It expands the possibilities for devices to interact with each other way beyond the personal computer and its standard peripheral devices so that telephones, computers, consumer electronics, navigation systems and security devices can all communicate without the usual messing about with wires and cables.

In the office environment, Bluetooth will scrap the need for cables between pieces of equipment and make flexibility of ownership and use much more practical. And because it is radio-based there will be no need for the ‘lines of sight’ between equipment required by infra-red systems.

From the point of view of blind and visually impaired people this means that interaction will be easier between specially adapted kit and the ordinary stuff in the office. It also means that you will be able to avoid the tedium of updating information in currently incompatible devices like a Braille note-taker and a mobile phone, so that if you update the address book in your phone it will update the note-taker simultaneously. This will mean it is also much easier to change devices.

At home it really will be possible for your remote controller to drive everything from your television to your cooker timer and your curtains. The dream of the ‘smart house’ will finally come true. This will be particularly important for people who find moving around difficult but it will also save a good deal of dragging ones’ hands across mucky surfaces to find a cooker knob.

Out and about it will now be possible for phones to link efficiently with satellite navigation systems so that it will be easier to find out where you are and specify where you want to go. At the macro level this means that your mobile phone will be able to tell you to within five metres where you are and at the micro level, as the uptake of the technology improves, you will also be able to find small objects such as the door handle of a specified shop.

You will also be able to use your own hand held device to interrogate public information systems and operate a bank cash machine, although for the next few years you will still have to grab bank notes rather than down loading digital money into your phone.

Of course, you can put all this together so that as you leave the office you can turn your cooker on and as you stand on the platform waiting for a train that never comes you can turn it off again.

One of the most important benefits for people with low vision, particularly the elderly, will be the reduction in learning required to access new devices. Once you have learned how to operate your remote controller, your handheld personal assistant or your laptop you will be able to run all your devices as long as they are Bluetooth enabled. The mechanism is a tiny chip attached to each device, together with a couple of lines of enabling software written into each operating system.

For more information see:


and Ericsson’s Bluetooth page is at:



Simon White
James Kelsey Design (JKD)
Westminster Business Square
1-45 Durham Street
SE11 5JH
Tel:  020 7793 9399
Fax: 020 7793 9299
Web: www.jkd.co.uk <http://www.jkd.co.uk/> 


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Received on Tuesday, 16 April 2002 09:40:12 UTC

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