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Specialty devices help blind use new technologies

Marc Perton

keyboardNew devices, ranging from enhanced keyboards for the visually impaired to Braille displays, are making it easier for those with limited or no eyesight to use computers — or just do simple things like riding the bus, according to The U.K.'s Blazie Engineering, for example, produces a $2,000 Braille display that can refresh lines of text as they are "read," while the Keys-U-See (pictured) is a $35 large-print keyboard for those with limited eyesight (or fully-sighted people who never quite learned to touch-type). Some devices address more prosaic needs, like the daily commute. AgentSheets, of Colorado, modifies Ipaq PDAs to interact with GPS-equipped city buses, allowing them to alert commuters when a bus approaches their stop, so they know when to get off.

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