The Technology Quadrant: Amazon Echo Buds Review!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast universe! Sorry for not posting for a bit because I was sick like Gondras and been busy since my last post! I do have a tech review!

Amazon Echo Buds Review!

Disclaimer: This product review is based on personal experience with the product. Please respect the thoughts and honesty of the lead writer. You have been warned!

So guys it’s holiday time and you know what that means! Holiday Gift Shopping Time! I figured this is appropriate since not only being an Adaptive Tech Instructor but also someone who runs a blog and does review items and talk about new things and that brings me to these babies!

Amazon has been getting into the Accessibility Game this year with new devices and I have gotten into them myself. I did get myself an Amazon Fire Tablet and of course the new Echo Dot 3 with Clock which you saw me set up on the channel and of course got the new Echo Buds. I decided to get these because you know the Apple Air Pods are expensive even with the new ones when these are cheaper and they work as well. I bet you’re wondering why I didn’t make a video. After the Echo Dot video with how bad the app was acting up on my Fire Tablet I figured it was best to do a review over a video since it’s easier for me to talk about it here since there is a feature I do like about them and will explain more. Let’s get into the price and packaging!

Price and Packaging: These are $129.99 and you save a lot than just buying the Air Pods. You can go the way I did since I was running out of funds at the time and that is Five Month Payments where you get to pay monthly instead of the full price. With these you pay shipping on the first payment along with taxes and after that you just pay for the payment price and that is $26 for the remains while the first month is $34. This is not the only device that has this even the Echo Dot series also has it, the new Echo Show also has it and so many other items that aren’t device related are the same way. The packaging when you get it you get the buds in a case which is the re-chargeable case where both buds get charged individually and you do get the USB cable to power up the case for cordless charging which I will explain something cool about this case in a moment, also you get extra ear bud parts for if you lose the parts that go in your ears you can replace them like with other ear buds. You also get these wing parts that slip onto your buds so they can stay on your ear since they can slip. Took me a day to figure that out and got those on and now them stay on.

Set Up: Set up was easier for this than my Echo Dot and my tablet. You need the AlexaaApp but best to use it on your phone that you use. You can use it on Android and IPhone since these buds can use Siri and Google Assistant along with Alexa and you go through the Device set up like with other devices and choose Headphones on the list and Echo Buds show up and you have to make sure to double tap and the process actually starts there. I forgot about double tapping when I first opened them and thought it wasn’t working because if you saw in my Echo Dot video how badly the app was acting up and how touchy it was that it did take two tries to get my Echo Buds to set up. What I do like which I did with my Dot is that I got to rename it and gave it the MST treatment and named it Gypsy, it makes sense with the Alexa bit. I did forget to mention that the first thing when getting these you need to connect to Bluetooth first since these do rely on that all the time.

How Do They Work: How Like the many other products you’re able to ask Alexa anything with these since you do have Flash Briefings, you can ask about the weather, I even enjoy Question of the Day. There are added features to the buds themselves where not only Alexa is with you but you can also use Siri if you’re using it with your IPhone or Google Assistant with your Android. Great thing is that you can hold down on the buds to enable Siri or Google Assistant or can just ask either one and you hear a sound to access them both. Great thing is that these are noise cancelling ear buds. You have to double tap in order to activate Pass Through which you hear everyone around you and double tap again for Noise Reduction where it blocks out everything. I used these during RangerStop by turning on Pass Through and had to set up my camera on my phone ad hear the start of the panel since it was important to hear any updates or the guest intros. I could have used these with Aira but the rain was coming Friday night and not sure how well their water proofing was and didn’t want to risk any shortage because that is a claim with these. With the noise cancellation you can increase how much of background noise you can let in through an app setting. With the case, since I mentioned it, it does give you in the app how much battery it has in both the left and right and of course the case itself. Cool thing is you can ask Alexa with that information. In case you’re wondering about skills, you can evoke certain skills like playing nature sounds, can have NPR as your news, and so much more.

Rating: 5 Star Paw Prints Out of 5! I am enjoying these ear buds due to how versatile they are. Yes, it’s a bit of pain to get the wing parts on to keep them in but having something like this when you can just keep your phone in your pocket or in your purse without worrying about dropping it does come in handy. Trust me when I got my phone back in September and was waiting on my case my phone did fall on my ride home all thanks to the ear bud cord. With these that doesn’t happen. I do love the idea of noise cancellation so I can take a nap without any worry. Plus, these are cheaper than the Apple Air Buds and you can do payment installments instead of full price. I would say if you’re planning to get these wait until Amazon has their back Friday sale or Cyber Monday sale, of course they will probably have a better deal closer to Christmas. I definitely recommend these as a great gift or good for work outs or meditation.

Well guys that is it for this review! I’m glad to do another tech review after a long while. If you guys want me to review the Echo Dot 3 on here, as in the one with the clock, I will gladly do that. In the meantime, I am hoping to start bringing more coverage from RangerStop 7. Stay tuned!

Adaptive Tech Quadrant: The OrCam: THe Better E-Sight

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the universe! Time to take a little detour with a new tech gadget!

OrCam: The Better E-Sight!

Disclaimer: This review on this product is based on thoughts, opinions, and observations of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts!

Not kidding either. For those who are new in this Nerd Universe, back in January I tried a device called E-Sight. Gondras’ mom saw it on the Rachael Ray show and how someone was able to see again with this device and that it would help with my eye condition. So, I was placed on the waiting list for a while until they contacted me in January. Even though Gondras and I were skeptical, it felt like we were told it would. Guess what? It didn’t and tired seeing about success stories and the website didn’t show any. Even some someone I knew from a support group did try it but didn’t return all of his vision but did see some. So yes, good to know about these things since I had a feeling that it wouldn’t work and it didn’t since I couldn’t see my dad at all and the prisms didn’t refract to do what it needed to do since I learned more about prisms in my Human Eye class.

Now onto the new toy! OrCam on the other hand is a device clipped onto a pair of glasses or you can clip it onto your own pair of glasses but best to do it with plastic frames like the ones you have seen me wear in a few videos. This is a mini camera where you can point and have it take pictures and read out text, read out labels on a bottle or a can and other items, color, and a lot more. It’s Seeing A. I. but on steroids! Also, there is a version where it just reads but I tried the Seeing A. I. version and I used it on my 3DS. Thank you Florida Vision Tech for this demo and coming to demo at the Center for the Visually Impaired.

How Did It Work? A lot better than E-Sight! Yes, it was a little tricky trying to get my finger to point and listen for the shutter since some people were talking. Good thing is that there was a Bluetooth speaker connected since this is also a Bluetooth device which is a major bonus due to how there are Bluetooth devices for anything even earbuds. I tried it out with my 3Ds because I remembered years ago at MegaCon Orlando 2017 that Troy Baker yelled out about finding ways of making gaming accessible and after seeing OrCam for my first time it had my gears turning in my head. When I heard about this demo I wanted to see about how it will read off the dual screens. Even one of my co-workers during lunch said it should. When I had it on, I pointed at the screens and it read out the battery charge at first which it was 10% which didn’t know I had that much left. Then I tried to see about reading the text the Pokémon team I have on my bottom screen and it did. One of my other co-workers was surprise I was playing a Pokémon game after hearing a Pokémon name. I didn’t hear the feedback from OrCam but now I know it does work! It doesn’t work with stylized fonts. Hey, it works!

I did over hear some of the other students and the Florida Vision Tech people helping them and how they used it such as finding French on the creamer bottle which it does read Spanish and French, even the face recognition where if you have someone turn their face to have OrCam catch it and then record their name then whenever you see that person again with it it will recognize them! Could be handy for me when there are a lot of people at different tables at conventions like RangerStop for example? Sometimes I get people mixed up when it’s loud in one space. Anyways, I did ask about object recognition and they said that’s in the works since there were times where people at any vendor tables told me to look around but had to point at my cane as a way of saying, “Hey, can’t see!” At least I don’t have that issue with anyone I have shopped from before.

Do I Want It? Yes! Oh man yes! Even though this is in the thousands, this item will help me out in being able to see and many other people do this as well. No wonder this thing appeared on the Dr. Phil show since it is something we can use. Good thing is that it’s compact and portable and you can wear it on a lanyard if need be. Also, like security systems, appliances, and other smart thermostats, you can control the settings with an app and that is what I may do since I could only do bits of text but setting it to automatic read would be the best for me if I get my paws on this.

If you’re visually impaired and heard of E-Sight and OrCam I would say look into OrCam more because this has more success so far for what has been shown in person and plus it does run on better tech than E-Sight since prisms have to refract at certain angles in order to produce the light necessary when going through the eye. Unlike OrCam it’s just cameras and audio.

Well guys! If you have a vendor in your part of the universe at an American Council for the Blind or National Federation of the Blind Convention in your state or going to the national one in Las Vegas in July check this device out if it’s on display. While me, it looks like Go Fund Me will be happening because this thing can help me out greatly. Stay tuned on Twitter on news whenever it goes up.

That is it guys! I will put the Dr. Phil clip for you guys to see and again thanks Florida Vision Tech! And next Adaptive Tech item is…ugh…The Tap! Until next time!
HH

Favorites Quadrant: January & February 2019

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back to Nerdy SHique Universe! It is time for my Favorites of January and February 2019!

Favorites: January & February 2019!

Favorite Device: Tap! First is something new to my collection of adaptive devices and it’s known as the Tap. It’s something that was new last year and didn’t get to see it during the NFB National Convention last year and finally got to see it during A. T. I. A. in Orlando which me and the rest of my co-workers along with students went to to check out the new tech companies were making. It is a glove where censors are on your knuckles and you get to tap letters and words and get to learn through their apps. It does get frustrating even with some of the letters but after completing the level becomes more satisfying. It doesn’t cost much either, it’s $199 and you do get a coupon from the website by spinning a wheel or going to an event which I did get when going to A. T. I. A. which gave me $25 off. I will give a full on review and a demo soon so stay tuned!

Favorite Low Tech Device: Braille Color Tags! Another item in the adaptive tech department is something I’ve been using with my work clothes and they are Braille Color Tags and glad I love these. They are tags with letters that represent colors like the letters b, l, l which means light blue in Braille. I was introduced to these through one of the other teachers at work and she gave me a small packet to try out and found them through the Braille Superstore and picked up a bag which I ended up two after they had to send them again when they got returned due to not having my apartment number. I did order them again and now I have a lot of labels to use. These are cheaper on Braille Superstore than Maxi Aids and you do get free shipping. What you can do with these is either sew them on or just pin them with a safety pin, which I use the safety pins and you barely notice them while wearing something. They are also washable. Also, I would suggest saving the webpage with these because it gives you a guide of which tag stands for what so you wouldn’t get confused. I do love with green, blue, purple, and pink they do have an l and a d to distinguish dark and light versions of the color. I will definitely buy more of these.

Beauty Box Wrap Up: Since I am back with Boxy and now about to get Allure Beauty Box, it’s time to talk about the items I got and what I think!

January Ipsy: January’s Ipsy was not bad since I felt like the items were not bad of choice. I did like the Ella & Eden eye shadow in Willow due to how well it blended and went on very smoothly with a brush. I did see how much the single was from this brand and it is a little pricey but what you can do with a higher end brand. I may get Willow again since it’s a nice burgundy shade and can go with my burgundy outfits. The Hempz lip balm is okay due to how drying it feels on my lips. I prefer my Lip Smackers over this item because with my Lip Smackers they go on more smoothly when this was more of a gel over a stick. I was hoping to get it as a stick but seeing that the ingredients included various oils I can see where it was in the tube. I will use it up though. I haven’t used the Color Club nail polish yet but will get to it eventually. I did see a set for sale but not in my kind of shades but hey I will be looking forward to this one. The Illamasqua eyeliner, on the other hand, I love it! It’s a dark brown for it being a nude liner but it does go well with my work makeup. It’s hard to find a nude liner in the stores anymore and I am glad that Ipsy gave this one out in January and hoping to get more products by these guys. And I lost my Balm Alternative Rock blush. I don’t ’now what had happened but it went missing. I did buy the pallet itself and was able to use the blush that way and man it’s much pigmented. I highly recommend The Balm as a brand and I still want to get their Nude Beach pallet.
February Ipsy: This month was a better bag and I got the Doucce Graphic Eyeliner pen. Funny thing is that this was also in the Allure box for February but didn’t subscribe to that until today. Glad I got it in this bag. It glided on pretty well for a marker and I just do pretty thin lines since I don’t want to have too bold of line going into work every day. Glad to get this one! Marc Anthony Strengthening Grow Mask is something I have just tried tonight for my first time. I noticed how my hair is really soft after using this product but need to use it more to get the full benefits. Eyeko Lash Alert mascara was amazing for a small sample. It did separate my lashes and curled them up like no other and I am glad to get a full size one through Ipsy through their Shopper page. I hope they give more mascaras because it took them almost a year to give me one. Please keep them coming! Inra Cosmo Nail Polish in Pulse is an easy to chip formula. I think I am either harsh with my nails or the formula can’t stay on even with top and base coat. By the next day all my nails started chipping which made me mad. I will redo my nails to see if the color will stay this time if I don’t cook or do the dishes or even with the next day. Laqr & Company PH Gloss was okay! I can’t see the difference since I can’t see myself wearing the color in the mirror I do notice how it’s barely on my lips but it does go on pretty well.

All I have to say that these two bags starting the year weren’t that bad for what they have sent me when it came to products. I did use them all even though I did get the pallet where the Balm blush came from. I can’t wait what March brings!

Boxy Charm:

January 2019: The Biaggio Leave-In Conditioning spray was a great item. I do like how soft my hair was after spraying this every time I shampoo or dry shampoo to keep my hair going frizzy. It also had a nice smell to it which is a great thing. It was saddening to see it being finished and tossed out because I loved this product for what it was. Next is the Tacha Face Masks and these kept my face moisturized. Ever since I moved to the coast my skin has changed over time and it was even drier due to the cold weather that always came in throughout December and January. These masks helped my skin from going cray and did moisturize it very well and it was good they included two masks instead of one. All thanks to these I did start purchasing sheet masks and so far so good my skin is calming down even if I am using two weeks at a time to keep my skin from going crazy. I have loved the Ofra Everlasting Liquid Lipstick for the longest time and I got it in the shade Havana Nights which is one of Kathleen Lights’ collaborations and she did help with creating this box. It has a new packaging design where it’s a box shape rather than a round tube and loving it better this way since it makes it more unique. I wear this at work sometimes or when I am not at work other times so it is still a favorite! I got a Star Lux eyeliner again but didn’t use it yet since I do have other black eyeliners to get through. Finally, the Tarte Rain Forest of the Sea Vol. 3 pallet! I never have gotten any other pallet from Tarte until this one which came in my Boxy. It is a mini pallet with eight shades and it is pretty good for travel. I did use this in my last Makeup Storytime video and it did blend pretty well. I hope to use this pallet more and glad to get it since it looks like another volume of this line will be out soon and hope to get it in the box.

February 2019: This was an okay box with what I got this month. First is the Touch & Soul No Poreblem Primer. I found this item not being a favorite because I felt like it was too dry for my liking. I love more of a Dewey primer since my skin is so dry and yes it claimed to do that but not enough. I felt like it dried to fast before I put any foundation on top so not a great product for me. I think a person with oily skin should get this primer over someone with dry skin. The Too Faced Better than Sex mascara was not my favorite as a sample but it worked a lot better for me as a full size because it did not flake. I think it’s because the formula in the sample is not the same in full size and I can see that very easily when it flaked more in the sample than the full. I did wear this mascara on Valentine’s Day when I did a look with the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar pallet and someone at work did compliment on how my eyes looked. Next the Pretty Vulgar Highlighter was a pretty good highlighter and was pretty nice to apply. I am so glad to try this brand out this way because I have heard good things and good to try it through a subscription like this. It is pretty pricey for what you get but glad to get it in a subscription and good to know how well the product works. Next the Clean Bee Face Wash from Pharmacy. I never tried anything from Pharmacy before until this product. I thought it was okay for what it was but if I use any other skin products it causes a bit of a weird sting to it because of how it was working afterwards and did feel a slight warm sensation to my skin. I am not sure if it’s due to the adding on my Clearisil face wash and face pads that are causing this but I do notice it too while using my E. L. F. moisturizer the next morning where it has a slight sting to it. I am glad I will only use this product just once from this box because yes it does work but I don’t like the feeling afterwards. Finally, the Trestique Lip Glaze and Primer in English Rose! I was glad to try the full size of this item since I do have a pretty good lip primer already. This is pretty much the bigger size to the mini version and it does cost more due to the primer at the bottom. I do get the minis since they do work the same. This is a perfect makeup product for work since it’s not too intense.

Well, I preferred January’s box because I preferred the sheet masks more. I felt like I could use the products in that box more since the face items in February’s did give me a weird feeling afterwards especially the face wash. I did see what is coming in March’s box so far and can’t wait to see what I may get if there are more than one variation of the products since one of them you have to do your quiz since it deals with skin tone and I can’t wait to see what that will bring!

Sheet Masks: Yes to Tomatoes Acne Mask! I have been getting sheet masks for a month now and glad that I went through Ulta and bought a few first and did get a set of twelve through Ipsy and now waiting on one with not only sheet masks but also eye gels from Ipsy too. I do have to say I have tried one and that is the Yes to Tomatoes Acne mask. I know it’s weird for me to have one like this but I do have some spots on my cheeks and decided to try this one out first. I was afraid that it would give my skin a bad reaction but it didn’t. Years ago when I tried getting into skin care my mom tried to have me use a tomato scrub but it reacted badly with my skin. Using this was more refreshing and didn’t smell bad either. Next morning my zit patches caused them to come up and be more of a white head. It feels good and it did some wonders, I may have to get more of this mask to get more results.

Not So Favorite Mask: Yes to Coconuts Hydrating Mask! While getting the masks I chose I got another Yes to one and that is the one Yes to Coconuts and was supposed to be a hydrating one. This one gave me a bit of a burning sensation. I am not sure if it was due to the Clearisil face pads but it was kind of a bit burning and didn’t give me anything like a red mark either. It did die down as time goes on during the time I set it for. I don’t think I will get this one anymore since it did have that burning sensation. I hope the others don’t give me that since I have a few from Tony Moley and one from Memevox.

An Okay Moisturizer: E. L. F. Daily Hydrating Moisturizer! With my quest for trying out new moisturizers I have found the E. L. F. I have been using being a little okay for me. I found the packaging interesting where it is a tube with a pump and it is sometimes not able to have it come out as well so I have to pump it out three times to get it out evenly. Plus, I don’t feel like it’s not moisturizing enough after applying. At least next I will be trying something different.

New Eye Primer: MAC Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in Laying Low! Next is a MAC Paint Pot I do love and that is in Laying Low. I understand that people say Soft Ocher and Painterly are the best due to how well shadows lay on top since yellow tones and whites are the best for using eye shadow bases. What I find it interesting is that creamy beige also works out since NYX does have a beige eye base. I decided to try this out since I wanted to rotate the colors to see how it goes and it does work out very well. After putting on my shadows, it does give a smooth base and you do see the shadows very well. I think this made my shadows pop out more even when I did the Valentine’s Day look this year. I would say try it out if you don’t want to go for the other two since beige can Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back to Nerdy SHique Universe! It is time for my Favorites of January and February 2019!

Favorites: January & February 2019!

Favorite Device: Tap! First is something new to my collection of adaptive devices and it’s known as the Tap. It’s something that was new last year and didn’t get to see it during the NFB National Convention last year and finally got to see it during A. T. I. A. in Orlando which me and the rest of my co-workers along with students went to to check out the new tech companies were making. It is a glove where censors are on your knuckles and you get to tap letters and words and get to learn through their apps. It does get frustrating even with some of the letters but after completing the level becomes more satisfying. It doesn’t cost much either, it’s $199 and you do get a coupon from the website by spinning a wheel or going to an event which I did get when going to A. T. I. A. which gave me $25 off. I will give a full on review and a demo soon so stay tuned!

Favorite Low Tech Device: Braille Color Tags! Another item in the adaptive tech department is something I’ve been using with my work clothes and they are Braille Color Tags and glad I love these. They are tags with letters that represent colors like the letters b, l, l which means light blue in Braille. I was introduced to these through one of the other teachers at work and she gave me a small packet to try out and found them through the Braille Superstore and picked up a bag which I ended up two after they had to send them again when they got returned due to not having my apartment number. I did order them again and now I have a lot of labels to use. These are cheaper on Braille Superstore than Maxi Aids and you do get free shipping. What you can do with these is either sew them on or just pin them with a safety pin, which I use the safety pins and you barely notice them while wearing something. They are also washable. Also, I would suggest saving the webpage with these because it gives you a guide of which tag stands for what so you wouldn’t get confused. I do love with green, blue, purple, and pink they do have an l and a d to distinguish dark and light versions of the color. I will definitely buy more of these.

Beauty Box Wrap Up: Since I am back with Boxy and now about to get Allure Beauty Box, it’s time to talk about the items I got and what I think!

January Ipsy: January’s Ipsy was not bad since I felt like the items were not bad of choice. I did like the Ella & Eden eye shadow in Willow due to how well it blended and went on very smoothly with a brush. I did see how much the single was from this brand and it is a little pricey but what you can do with a higher end brand. I may get Willow again since it’s a nice burgundy shade and can go with my burgundy outfits. The Hempz lip balm is okay due to how drying it feels on my lips. I prefer my Lip Smackers over this item because with my Lip Smackers they go on more smoothly when this was more of a gel over a stick. I was hoping to get it as a stick but seeing that the ingredients included various oils I can see where it was in the tube. I will use it up though. I haven’t used the Color Club nail polish yet but will get to it eventually. I did see a set for sale but not in my kind of shades but hey I will be looking forward to this one. The Illamasqua eyeliner, on the other hand, I love it! It’s a dark brown for it being a nude liner but it does go well with my work makeup. It’s hard to find a nude liner in the stores anymore and I am glad that Ipsy gave this one out in January and hoping to get more products by these guys. And I lost my Balm Alternative Rock blush. I don’t ’now what had happened but it went missing. I did buy the pallet itself and was able to use the blush that way and man it’s much pigmented. I highly recommend The Balm as a brand and I still want to get their Nude Beach pallet.
February Ipsy: This month was a better bag and I got the Doucce Graphic Eyeliner pen. Funny thing is that this was also in the Allure box for February but didn’t subscribe to that until today. Glad I got it in this bag. It glided on pretty well for a marker and I just do pretty thin lines since I don’t want to have too bold of line going into work every day. Glad to get this one! Marc Anthony Strengthening Grow Mask is something I have just tried tonight for my first time. I noticed how my hair is really soft after using this product but need to use it more to get the full benefits. Eyeko Lash Alert mascara was amazing for a small sample. It did separate my lashes and curled them up like no other and I am glad to get a full size one through Ipsy through their Shopper page. I hope they give more mascaras because it took them almost a year to give me one. Please keep them coming! Inra Cosmo Nail Polish in Pulse is an easy to chip formula. I think I am either harsh with my nails or the formula can’t stay on even with top and base coat. By the next day all my nails started chipping which made me mad. I will redo my nails to see if the color will stay this time if I don’t cook or do the dishes or even with the next day. Laqr & Company PH Gloss was okay! I can’t see the difference since I can’t see myself wearing the color in the mirror I do notice how it’s barely on my lips but it does go on pretty well.

All I have to say that these two bags starting the year weren’t that bad for what they have sent me when it came to products. I did use them all even though I did get the pallet where the Balm blush came from. I can’t wait what March brings!

Boxy Charm:

January 2019: The Biaggio Leave-In Conditioning spray was a great item. I do like how soft my hair was after spraying this every time I shampoo or dry shampoo to keep my hair going frizzy. It also had a nice smell to it which is a great thing. It was saddening to see it being finished and tossed out because I loved this product for what it was. Next is the Tacha Face Masks and these kept my face moisturized. Ever since I moved to the coast my skin has changed over time and it was even drier due to the cold weather that always came in throughout December and January. These masks helped my skin from going cray and did moisturize it very well and it was good they included two masks instead of one. All thanks to these I did start purchasing sheet masks and so far so good my skin is calming down even if I am using two weeks at a time to keep my skin from going crazy. I have loved the Ofra Everlasting Liquid Lipstick for the longest time and I got it in the shade Havana Nights which is one of Kathleen Lights’ collaborations and she did help with creating this box. It has a new packaging design where it’s a box shape rather than a round tube and loving it better this way since it makes it more unique. I wear this at work sometimes or when I am not at work other times so it is still a favorite! I got a Star Lux eyeliner again but didn’t use it yet since I do have other black eyeliners to get through. Finally, the Tarte Rain Forest of the Sea Vol. 3 pallet! I never have gotten any other pallet from Tarte until this one which came in my Boxy. It is a mini pallet with eight shades and it is pretty good for travel. I did use this in my last Makeup Storytime video and it did blend pretty well. I hope to use this pallet more and glad to get it since it looks like another volume of this line will be out soon and hope to get it in the box.

February 2019: This was an okay box with what I got this month. First is the Touch & Soul No Poreblem Primer. I found this item not being a favorite because I felt like it was too dry for my liking. I love more of a Dewey primer since my skin is so dry and yes it claimed to do that but not enough. I felt like it dried to fast before I put any foundation on top so not a great product for me. I think a person with oily skin should get this primer over someone with dry skin. The Too Faced Better than Sex mascara was not my favorite as a sample but it worked a lot better for me as a full size because it did not flake. I think it’s because the formula in the sample is not the same in full size and I can see that very easily when it flaked more in the sample than the full. I did wear this mascara on Valentine’s Day when I did a look with the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar pallet and someone at work did compliment on how my eyes looked. Next the Pretty Vulgar Highlighter was a pretty good highlighter and was pretty nice to apply. I am so glad to try this brand out this way because I have heard good things and good to try it through a subscription like this. It is pretty pricey for what you get but glad to get it in a subscription and good to know how well the product works. Next the Clean Bee Face Wash from Pharmacy. I never tried anything from Pharmacy before until this product. I thought it was okay for what it was but if I use any other skin products it causes a bit of a weird sting to it because of how it was working afterwards and did feel a slight warm sensation to my skin. I am not sure if it’s due to the adding on my Clearisil face wash and face pads that are causing this but I do notice it too while using my E. L. F. moisturizer the next morning where it has a slight sting to it. I am glad I will only use this product just once from this box because yes it does work but I don’t like the feeling afterwards. Finally, the Trestique Lip Glaze and Primer in English Rose! I was glad to try the full size of this item since I do have a pretty good lip primer already. This is pretty much the bigger size to the mini version and it does cost more due to the primer at the bottom. I do get the minis since they do work the same. This is a perfect makeup product for work since it’s not too intense.

Well, I preferred January’s box because I preferred the sheet masks more. I felt like I could use the products in that box more since the face items in February’s did give me a weird feeling afterwards especially the face wash. I did see what is coming in March’s box so far and can’t wait to see what I may get if there are more than one variation of the products since one of them you have to do your quiz since it deals with skin tone and I can’t wait to see what that will bring!

Sheet Masks: Yes to Tomatoes Acne Mask! I have been getting sheet masks for a month now and glad that I went through Ulta and bought a few first and did get a set of twelve through Ipsy and now waiting on one with not only sheet masks but also eye gels from Ipsy too. I do have to say I have tried one and that is the Yes to Tomatoes Acne mask. I know it’s weird for me to have one like this but I do have some spots on my cheeks and decided to try this one out first. I was afraid that it would give my skin a bad reaction but it didn’t. Years ago when I tried getting into skin care my mom tried to have me use a tomato scrub but it reacted badly with my skin. Using this was more refreshing and didn’t smell bad either. Next morning my zit patches caused them to come up and be more of a white head. It feels good and it did some wonders, I may have to get more of this mask to get more results.

Not So Favorite Mask: Yes to Coconuts Hydrating Mask! While getting the masks I chose I got another Yes to one and that is the one Yes to Coconuts and was supposed to be a hydrating one. This one gave me a bit of a burning sensation. I am not sure if it was due to the Clearisil face pads but it was kind of a bit burning and didn’t give me anything like a red mark either. It did die down as time goes on during the time I set it for. I don’t think I will get this one anymore since it did have that burning sensation. I hope the others don’t give me that since I have a few from Tony Moley and one from Memevox.

An Okay Moisturizer: E. L. F. Daily Hydrating Moisturizer! With my quest for trying out new moisturizers I have found the E. L. F. I have been using being a little okay for me. I found the packaging interesting where it is a tube with a pump and it is sometimes not able to have it come out as well so I have to pump it out three times to get it out evenly. Plus, I don’t feel like it’s not moisturizing enough after applying. At least next I will be trying something different.

New Eye Primer: MAC Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in Laying Low! Next is a MAC Paint Pot I do love and that is in Laying Low. I understand that people say Soft Ocher and Painterly are the best due to how well shadows lay on top since yellow tones and whites are the best for using eye shadow bases. What I find it interesting is that creamy beige also works out since NYX does have a beige eye base. I decided to try this out since I wanted to rotate the colors to see how it goes and it does work out very well. After putting on my shadows, it does give a smooth base and you do see the shadows very well. I think this made my shadows pop out more even when I did the Valentine’s Day look this year. I would say try it out if you don’t want to go for the other two since beige can be a good color option.

Well, that is it for this list of Favorites! Next up is my review on RWBY Volume 6! I finally saw the end and I will tell you my thoughts! So stay tuned!
be a good color option.

Well, that is it for this list of Favorites! Next up is my review on RWBY Volume 6! I finally saw the end and I will tell you my thoughts! So stay tuned!

Technology: ESight

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe! I am back with another Assistive Tech Post!

ESight

I bet you’re wondering, “What is ESight?” Well, it is a pair of glasses that has a camera that is attached to them and what it does it tries to give someone who has lost some sight regain some of it back to be able to see in front of them again. This was developed in Canada a few years back and well Momma Gondras saw it on Rachael Ray and saw someone was able to see with these glasses and they were talking about how it worked for them. I have met people that has tried these glasses out and one person it didn’t work out for them while the other it did. Reason why I am writing about it here is because I tried them today.

How I Got Onto the List? Well, like most places there is a waiting list for this thing due to how long of a list to demo these glasses can be a high demand. I want to tell you a little bit about my past before I got onto this list.

When I got diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, I wanted to find ways of seeing again since I was an artist and well you know makeup has been a new creative outlook for me and still wanted to find ways of seeing again and able to draw again. Not only that drive too since my dream car is still a VW Beetle in blue, either the old Herby model or the newer ones since I am not picky. Anyways, I always saw an eye specialist in Miami and he was helping me with research in getting something to help me see again but as time went on my hopes kind of stalled out since I was getting comfortable with my visual impairment even before getting my job as an Adaptive Tech Instructor. That was when Momma Gondras came in last year and it was during Irma hitting. I told her my plans in being a tech instructor since it is a field that they need more people in and volunteering at the middle school I used to go to was helping me get over some hurdles that I have noticed during my work experience and she was asking me about job related stuff and it was hard for me to answer to tell you truth. Heck, I wanted to go back to school even for my Grad Certificate for Adaptive Tech. After that, I learned that I shouldn’t share my dreams with the future-in-law if they don’t share the same ideas or aspirations as you. Apparently, there were things and said and done which was that Gondras put me on the waiting list for ESight. I was surprised by that because I wasn’t expecting it due to how skeptical we felt about it and will get to that.
Why Were We Skeptical? Now! I and Gondras were skeptical about this device because we didn’t get that much information through the website and that is why I don’t feel like posting the link, best to Google search for yourself. Most websites that talk about tech items do talk about the specs of the item, what it is exactly and so on. For example, I will use Apple for this. For a lot of their products they talk about how big their Mac Books or even their IPads, heck the newer IPhones with the height and width, what the camera is like, Siri of course, and the latest I OS that will be coming with the device and what else can be done with that particular product. With the ESight website, on the other hand, the information is repetitive, not too much to talk about even with pricing, and doesn’t give success stories if it has worked for a lot of people.

What even has me more worrisome is that it lists off different eye conditions that it can help but the issue is that people have different types of an eye condition and the degree of sight can change over time, which I will tell my experience with this device next due to my degree of vision. Plus, an eye condition can take place at any time in life, like me with getting my condition in high school for example and going blind at twenty-three. Not only have that, depending on the amount of sighted loss it can be tough to regain which I will tell you my experience now!

My Experience with These Glasses! Trust me, I was really not looking forward to this demo since I did take the day to do it due to how bad traffic can get between Daytona and Orlando, especially the part of town it was taking place. I felt a bit off with the address first, but let me start with the call though. I was working on my Chrome Book when I got the call and the person was very friendly and told me that he was from ESight and explained things that looking back at the website now was not mentioned there. A little red flag right there! Oh yes, the Red Flag Kitties were there waving their little flags! I had a feeling if I turned them down I wouldn’t be left alone without guilt after waiting on the list since 2017 after Irma. Got to talking more and got some pricing, which looking at the website, another Red Flag Kitty pops up because he mentioned the prices and how low it has gotten and I remembered the fundraising option if it did work. This device was originally $10,000 which is more than the Braille Note Touch and the Braille Sense Polaris on their own own. Even though they dropped the price it would have taken most of my pay and have me eating ramen for the next few months and probably skip more conventions and probably makeup re-stocking. And not only that, there was a home trial but it is a risk to take because if these didn’t work you lose $500. For anyone who wants to try these you are getting some warning while reading this and I care. I even almost had a major spit take with the home trial option.

So, fast forward to today. Getting to Orlando was a breeze even though there was some traffic on Sand Lake which the address that was given was at an office building that felt like in the middle of nowhere. I have gone to similar buildings but they did have names when it came to job interviews but this was kind of weird in a way since I didn’t know where I was going and I remembered that one guy I used to know had his demo at a hotel. I think it would have been better if it was in a place that is well-known like an office inside of a mall or at a doctor’s office, heck even at one of the Lighthouse locations would have been nice since that was mentioned during my demo. Getting into the building was even more of a pain because the elevator in the parking garage was a freight even though we were able to get to the basement level, yes it has one of those, and the stairs were leading to doors either private or there was no exit on the floor I was supposed to be on. I am not kidding, I felt like I was in a bad Escher painting. With my experiences being at my dad’s doctors or other parts of Orlando with parking garages with office buildings at least I could get in and out without a problem. Anyways, so we got in and was seen pretty quickly.

So, it started off telling the salesman about myself, my degree of vision, and he did explain what the glasses were, what the camera does, and that it doesn’t work for everyone, oh right also get to adjust the glasses if need be with a remote that is attached. He also had me try and see one of those eye charts we always get tested on. I admitted I only saw his arm holding it not the card since I can only see in my peripheral which brings up another red flag which I will get to the next point of the story. So, the glasses felt like standard blind man glasses as in sunglasses with a camera attached and there was a strap to hold them on. The strap felt like a tourniquet. I know it’s supposed to be adjustable but I felt my head getting tighter despite the adjustment and. So, he had me try to see my dad with these on and unfortunately I couldn’t. My dad did not appear clearly which they were supposed to. So, this brings up that one Red Flag Kitty which the person on the phone explained that with my RP versus the standard that it can be worked with the camera versus the tunnel vision standard. With the demo it shows that it didn’t! The guy in the room did say reason why it didn’t work on me is due to the lack of natural vision that is left in my peripherals and I can see why.

How I went blind was an interesting tidbit which I will share here. When I was trying to draw something a few days after designing my first costume on paper, I noticed my right eye turning. It was like a hurricane on a weather map and knew that I lost my right eye and then a year or so after my left eye followed and yes I may still have some vision in my peripheral like a flounder but not enough for these glasses. I am taking Anatomy of the Human Eye I and I learned so far that not all eye conditions are the same even with mine. I have met people in the past that are going through RP but different versions even different ways with the same thing as mine. These people working on ESight feel to me, well mostly to my dad, is that they are just there to sell the product. Plus, Gondras did bring up that it feels like a VR set that is not made to fit a certain degree of vision that a person may have and should make the tech help for those different degrees of sight loss and I agree with him. I did tell him that we were right about not working but at least I did try it for free rather than shelling out major cash. Even my dad asked if we had to pay up front. It can happen with some places.

Final Thoughts: Even though the glasses didn’t work one me doesn’t mean it won’t work for anyone but I would say is that think before signing up for a demo because the website is not a good place to check because the pages repeat the same information over and over and once you’re on the phone with someone or there at the demo that is where the true information is given.

I’m sorry but being a bit harsh here, also honest, but when looking for something like this you need more information, actual testimonials to see if it worked, and give the price tag on the website and any information about how to get the funds to pay for it. If it had worked for me, then I would have a Go Fund Me raise the money for one after hearing someone have this device work for them.

Another thing is, please don’t go in with hopes of it working. Technology works in different ways and can either work great or not for someone who tests that new toy. Just know that yes it is a possibility of seeing again but if it doesn’t work out then find a different avenue which I did appreciate the guy giving an alternative for something similar. And now looking at it, I am also thinking that the people who worked on this device should look more into eye diseases because not all of them work the same way, they get diagnosed differently and people have different ways of losing their sight due to that condition like I had. Not only that, get a better website because I feel it needs to show better information about the product and how it works and explain the tech better. Plus, the pricing which is the first question on a lot of people’s minds when going into something like this. Even when I tried confirming on their website, it did have a question, “If this does restore some residual vision, how much will you pay?” And gives you options from highest to lowest so that is why a price guide on the main website can help.

So yeah, if you’re thinking about having a demo, just look out for some things even with the website and if not, I understand!

Well, that is it for this experience. I know it was an interesting experience with the building I went to but I rather try this at a doctor’s office or at a Lighthouse knowing that I am in a safe and familiar environment. Plus, I feel as though that this device should be improved upon even with the website because of how many eye conditions can happen at any moment. Which I need to get back to that Human Eye class because I am learning a lot of stuff as time goes on.

That is it for this post. Sorry for a bit of a mishap but my Boxy Charm was not shipped yet so hoping to see if it will soon because I have seen some people on YouTube get theirs so far. Next up is one of our interviews from Holiday Matsuri! Stay tuned!

Technology: How to Make An Accessible Convention Schedule

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe! I am back with something completely different!

Creating a Simple and Accessible Convention Schedule!

As a blind person myself, it’s sometimes hard to read a convention guide with or without the accessible apps. Ever since last year, I have been creating my own Convention Schedules through using Google Sheets which makes it easier on myself, even if we have a press pass or not. I did have the Word Document version of the NFB Convention Schedule but wishing I had done that spreadsheet because it was a little tedious going through all the different pages in the entire guide. If I were to go to future NFB related events I will definitely do that. I bet you’re wondering, how am I able to get access to that document? Well, with the technology we have today there are different apps we can use in order to read documents and of course with how Apple has the Files app in order to access the Pages and Numbers apps to read things alongside Google having Drive and I did review the Polaris and how Drive can be used. So, here is how I make my Convention Schedule:

What You Need: Either a Tablet or a PC in order to access a spreadsheet program and either One Drive, Drop Box, Google Drive, and other File Sharing apps. If you have one, a Braille Device with Android Tech or you can just save it to a Thumb Drive.

1. Look at the convention schedule for the one you’re going to. Conventions tend to have a short list of events and then add onto it, which to keep the document ready in order to access again to add onto it.
2. Next, on whatever spreadsheet app or program, at the top of the columns, title them “Day,” “Panel Room,” “Time,” “Panel/Event Name” or what name you want it to be. You can also do a Notes column where you can write in what you want to have your friends do if they are on your press team or if you don’t have a press pass but want video for a YouTube Channel you like to put your convention videos on, you can also mention video or pictures. Also, if it’s a meet up, just mention that.
3. Next, this will get a little technical and that is merging cells to create blocks. This will help separate the days from each other, even the panel rooms where each event would be and their times. Such as this event will take place on Friday, in the same room as another but at a different time. So, in the Day Column from the day you type in do a Shift+Down Arrow and count each cell you may need to add the events, like if you want to go to four events end it at that by going home or heading back to your hotel room for the rest of the day which you would count three cells from Friday and it would select those blocks as you go. Next, there are times where certain apps give you the Alignment Box which gives you the options that gives options on how you want your text and cells be formatted. If you’re using Excel on a computer, you use the Applications Key and then up arrow to “Format Cells” and it will give you a box with tabs, which you can switch with either using Ctrl+Tab but now you can easily use Ctrl+Page Up or Down and just do that until you hear Alignment.
A. In order to get to the Merge Cells option in the Alignment area is by swiping on your device until you hear “Merge Cells” and sometimes depending on the device it will say, “Off” so double tap and it will turn on. Once you go back to the cells in your spreadsheet by either swiping or using a keyboard if you have one, it will say, “A2 to A4” Merged Cells!”
B. With Excel on a computer, once in the Alignment, you tab over to “Merge Cells” and hit the enter key on that option. And it will say the same message as if it was done on your tablet.
4. Once you have all of the events you want and added into the spreadsheet for the entire weekend, there are many things you can do with it:
A. For the Braille Device user, for the Polaris since I use that, best way of being able to view this document is by a PDF. First, go into Docs on your Polaris and go to the apps area and you can either access Docs or Drive and whatever account it’s saved under make sure you’re on that account. Next, either first letter navigate or tab, F3, to go to the spreadsheet it’s titled as and then use one of the scroll keys to go down and hear “More Options for this File.” Hit enter or Dot eight and then tab to where it says, “Send a Copy.” This will give you the option to save as a PDF, hit Enter once you tab over to it and tab over to the OK button and it will give you the options of apps to send to or save to and I choose Drive where once it’s entered on that, it will give you the OK button to send it over. Once that’s done. Go to Drive and it will give you all your documents you have saved through the different Google apps, find that file you saved as a PDF and once you tab to More Options, hit Enter again and then tab down to Download. And it will download to the Downloads folder in the File Manager. When you open that file from Downloads, all your information you have entered will be there. You can also save it as an Excel format, if you haven’t used Excel Viewer which I had to look up, there are commands to use in order to view your information. I find the PDF view easier since all my information is aligned.
B. For anyone who doesn’t have the Android specs, you can save the information to a thumb drive and save the file to your device by cutting or copying the file to your clipboard and paste it into your documents folder and open it from there to view it. If your device has the Excel Viewer like mine, I think the U2 had it f I remembered, you can find the navigation keys in the Help Menu.
C. If you have Numbers, even though it has changed with IOS 12, or have Sheets as well, you can use the Bluetooth capabilities with your Apple device in order to navigate a spreadsheet if it’s saved as one or copy down the schedule into the Pages app as an easier alternative to using a spreadsheet app. And of course with I Cloud on your device, you can save the many spreadsheets as different formats and send it to Drive if you prefer it that way and download it from Drive on your Polaris, you an also do it that way.
Well, that is it for this post. I know it was really technical in a way and tried to make it as simple as I could. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating this schedule, whether it’s through using Excel on your computer and saving it to a thumb drive or just doing it through Google or Apple, you can create something that can help you get to your events during a big weekend. I will be using this idea with Ranger Stop this weekend and will give you an update in the Convention Spotlight in how it worked. I will take a look into what happened with Numbers and may make a post about that since I noticed some changes since IOS 12 has released. Stay tuned for that and anything else! Until then, stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Technology: Review on the Braille Sense Polaris by H. I. M. S. International

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast universe! It’s time for a technology review!

Braille Sense Polaris by H. I. M. S. International!

Disclaimer: This review is based on observations and experience of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts and opinions!

It’s a long time coming but finally get to review this device and that’s the Braille Sense Polaris. As you know, I have been using Braille tech for a long time and this is the latest note taker that has been released a year ago.

Built with Android tech, the Braille Sense Polaris not only acts like a Braille note taker but also acts like an Android tablet using apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and use a touch bar under the the routing buttons right above the Braille display. There are many functions it can do such as reading books, using the Word Processor to take notes and even read Excel Spreadsheets, on top of that also has a built in camera to use many apps that rely on it.

My thoughts on this device has a lot of pros but does have its cons with it too, let’s see what I think!

Thoughts: I have had much experience with the H. I. M. S. International Braille Sense line with starting with the Braille Sense plus QWERTY model which is basically what if you took a keyboard from a computer and attached to a Braille display and took notes that way. Reason why I went with this one is because being in college you have to pay attention to the lectures and and figuring out the contractions while the professor speaks then you will miss something important and having this one did help me out, even though I am a fast typist and there were times when it couldn’t keep up. Plus, it did help with reading some books that were hard to read for class assignments. This did go on with using during my earlier press jobs at MetroCon 2013 and 2014, Omni Expo 2014, and of course MythiCon 2014 until one of my keys ended up breaking off and that got me to the U2, which introduced me to the Perkins Brailler keyboard. I thought it would be simple but it wasn’t because unlike the QWERTY counterpart you have chords to use which is a Braille character with the spacebar combined. I did have to remember a lot of them as time went on but got a hang of it until the battery decided to give me issues and knew I had to step up and that’s where the Polaris came in.

There is another device I was introduced to and knew about and that was the Braille Note Touch which what if you took an Android tablet and placed a Perkins keyboard on top and you can also use the touch screen to Braille with it as well. You can even use Bluetooth devices with it too but one thing I didn’t like about it was that it was heavy. You not only have the tablet portion but you also have the keyboard on top to add to the weight which as you know I do press at conventions and having something lightweight helps so that is why the Polaris was better for me. As in, going from panel to panel, being able to access it easily to interview people and so on made me choose this device more. Plus, I am more familiar with the Braille Sense line than the Braille Note line which makes it even easier for me to use the Polaris more.

What Do I Like the Most: What I like the most about the Polaris is that it added more features to it since we are not only playing with a single product but with a second platform at added to it which is Android and it gave Braille a better advantage since nowadays people are using Android and Apple devices for their daily tasks. Besides note taking, I do love using my Polaris to pair with my phone in order to navigate through Facebook, Instagram, and even sometimes email with it since dictation likes to be tricky even in text messages but of course I have been using it with the video function on my phone because well if you have seen my earlier beauty videos, Siri talked a lot in them. Imagine with all the comments I got, I did get some tips from someone from a tech company who did demonstrate the two devices for me. It did help and using the Polaris with the phone while recording does tell me the video is still recording without having to get up and go to the camera to see if it is still recording. Nice little feature.

Another thing I did like is how the Help Topics were expanded because you have so many new features to use within the Polaris itself and remembering everything can be a hassle so having different Help Topics to go back on does help out, heck even there was a section for me to look at on the Touch Bar itself since I didn’t get much information about that which I will talk about that later and will talk about the Touch Bar now!

The newest feature that was added was the Touch Bar which is a strip placed in between the routing buttons and the Braille Display itself. You can turn on the Touch Bar by using the Global Settings Options and use this feature as if you’re navigating a tablet screen. As in, you can swipe with your fingers across this strip to go between the programs, double tap to go into apps, and so on. It’s a fun little feature and yes if you have long nails it can be tricky so I would say clip your nails back if you can.

Another feature is of course being able to download apps from the Google Play Store and being able to use them in this environment. Great thing about this feature besides downloading is that if you have an Android phone or tablet yourself you can download the apps you had on those devices and place them onto the Polaris itself which is great because you can use Google Docs and Sheets between the two and able to save and open these kinds of documents between the Braille Sense side and the Android side. Not only that, other apps can be downloaded too if you haven’t used them on other Android devices such as a printing app. My mom has a wireless printer and during the summer I didn’t have any ink in my printer so I decided to try out her printer with my Polaris and downloaded the printing apps I needed and it worked out beautifully! And remembered when I mentioned the camera? There are apps you can use with this feature and one app I did test out while using it is of course Be My Eyes! While I was at the NFB Convention this summer, I did ask if it could work on a Braille device with a camera and they weren’t sure about it and afterwards I put it to the test and downloaded it to my Polaris. It did work! Even though you can’t see the object through the camera but it does act like a video camera for the volunteer? I also heard that KNFB Reader can also be used this way so I am waiting for my chance to download it during a sale, if I can, to see how well it works out for me. I would love to read my documents during work with this app and it is a dream of mine to be able to have it.

Cons: Besides the Pros, there are cons to this device. First is and hearing it was fixed with the last update and that is how in Word Processor where writing gets jumbled. As in if I was writing something, it gets moved automatically like if you were using a laptop, trust me I didn’t like that due to the Mouse Track Pad. I wasn’t the only one who experienced this either since other people at the NFB Convention also went through what I went through. Now I have to see about it being fixed during Ranger Stop when I take notes.

Another con is using Google Docs and Google Sheets, I am not sure if this is the same issue with Slides but I have noticed while trying to type in Docs I sometimes get taken out of the document area and it’s hard to get back in. Now, I am not sure if it will work better since I have been trying the Touch Bar and if it would still have me in writing a document but this annoyed me while trying to write my latest fan fiction and had to restart the chapters over and over. I will see how it goes with using the Touch Bar feature and get back to you on that. And with Sheets it feels like when you add columns it’s hard to go back to previous columns since it can only fit a few on this kind of display. I did mention Touch Bar and I will see how that goes and may write a post about my experiences with the Touch Bar since apparently I am the only one so far trying it out. Anyways, I do like how I can just construct the spreadsheets on this device but trying to navigate the columns and rows not so much, wishing they can expand on this which I will mention in the Improvements area.

And finally, not all of the apps are optimized for this kind of environment. What do I mean by this? Well, while downloading some of the apps through Play Store, I did notice there was a message mentioning that this app is not optimized to the Polaris itself as in its optimized for tablets and phones only. I understand you’re using a Braille device but being able to have the Android system built in to add more functionality to the device itself the app should be able to operate normally and optimized to be used in this environment. Not sure how well the apps are able to work on the Braille Note Touch, I have a feeling since that that has a screen it is optimized better in their environment. Not only that, some apps can’t be used on this type of device which includes Kindle which makes me sad, I did suggest that they should add Kindle in order to have more reading options.

How Can This Product Can Be Improved? There are many ways such as making the apps be optimized to fit this device more since it is a new tech being used and of course it is new to this market. I would have to say the most would being able to use the G-Suite Programs without any issues as in being able to type in Docs without being kicked out of the document area. If we’re using Google Suite programs we should be able to use them to their fullest potential especially in the classroom. Yes, we can copy and paste what we wrote in Word Processor but being able to just type it right there it would be easier than just going from one area to the next. Goes the same with Sheets too, having that ability to just create spreadsheets and going back and forth between columns if they get added can be a better extension of using a Braille device with Google.

Another improvement is that that there are recordings of videos about how to use the Polaris and not only that recordings done with the audio recorder on the Polaris too. Sorry to say H. I. M. S., with my super bat hearing I can’t hear it! As in, the audio is so low it is hard for me to hear even raising the device volume to its fullest. It goes the same way when you watch the videos on YouTube on a PC and probably goes the same way on other devices that use YouTube. Hello, a microphone can help out and don’t just use the audio recorder on these devices, no offense I have used it before and it doesn’t record anything loud enough unless you put it closer. Best to just use a microphone and probably talk a bit louder if there is no mike. I even talk loud in all of my videos in a loud room, why not do the same?

Another thing is talk about the Touch Bar more. What I mean is that yes it can be a tricky thing to do and use which I admit I always find myself in the Global Settings if I’m not careful enough but being able to talk about this feature and train people on it, even doing it as an instructional video, can give more functionality to this device. This takes me back to the G-Suite thing, if you guys built it into a device then why not show how to use it? I did say I was able to find out how to use it on my own and as a new A. T. Instructor knowing about this feature does help. Plus, it is a neat feature to use after my small experience with it and its fun to play around with and being able to train someone after learning it first can help give new customers to the company and also show what else the device does besides using the Braille keys. It’s like using the Terminal Mode with the phone, I sometimes need to swipe in order to get around on my IPhone while navigating on my Polaris and cool thing is with the Touch Bar you can swipe to those apps too. So, talking about this feature more can expand what the capabilities are. If Human Ware has the touch options on their devices so does this one and as said before should be talked about more.

And one more thing, knowing with updating the Firm Ware on this device, there should be flash messages saying, “Hey! New Update!” Instead of just guessing. For instance, there was a new update and it was supposed to be released at the end of August but didn’t show up until mid-October. I did check the Update Firm Ware to see if there was one and having a message saying it can help because there are Notifications on this thing like a regular Android Tablet Apple Devices why not do notifications based on that since a lot of these note takers do use Wi-Fi.

Rating: 4 Star Paw Prints Out of 5! Not all devices are perfect and this one is one of them. I know I had some cons and some improvements that should be made. I wills see how the Touch Bar interacts with the Google Suite Apps because I feel like they would benefit more with it than just the keyboard use. Not only that I am hoping Kindle can be used on this thing since I have a ton of books needing to be read and if I’m at a convention and having a break and want a good book to read then that is what I can fall upon besides using the DAISY Player and Bard Mobile. In the end, H. I. M. S. has done a pretty good job but does need to make improvements along the way and hoping they keep making devices like these due to how much tech has been growing and it was a great step up for them due to how much Apple and Android has been big parts in the mobile devices market. Plus, good thing is this can help with getting into Android a little since not everyone uses this type of tech platform and I did say in the Life After Sight Loss live stream recently that you can see what’s best for you by being able to test both platforms and good thing with this kind of device you can use the Bluetooth settings with Apple devices so they can go hand in hand with each other. I think I did make a good choice with this device since I am familiar with the products and now Accessibility and Braille is starting to get more into the high tech field by catching up with Android so it’s living strong. I bet you’re wondering, would I have gone with the Braille Note Touch instead? Even though the features were nice on that thing, if it was lighter than I would but as someone who goes convention to convention, I’d rather go for a lightweight device and not slow myself down. If I were to save up for the Touch itself then I would probably consider it to see how it works and expand my tech knowledge more. Who knows what will happen but I am going to stick with the Polaris and see how much it will improve over time.

That is it for this review! I am glad that I was able to talk about this device since so many people have seen me use it before and always ask me questions. Ranger Stop will be its first convention that I will be using my Polaris at and will be having some fun with it. Let’s see how it goes! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for the latest updates and until then stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Technology: Introducing N Reach!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast universe! Today will be a twofer special of posts! First a new app for you all Visually Impaired Nerds out there!

Introducing N Reach!

No, it’s not spelled wrong, that’s how this app is spelled and it’s kind of clever even with its website. This is a new location app that was introduced at the NFB National Convention this year and I am an affiliate with these guys since I have been using Soundscape and that app not always picks up on locations but this one will. Let’s get into what it’s about!

Behind the App: Created by James Dye and Steven Moldenhauer, this app is created to help people understand the world around them more by being able to have businesses make their signs more accessible by buying beacons to place with their signs that is connected with this app. Once the beacon is set and activated and someone has the app on their phone then they will get a message sent to them telling them about the business and what they offer. Heck, even menus to the place if it’s a restaurant. I have met the creators and James Dye is visually impaired himself and has been a big drive in accessibility and helping businesses to become more accessible while Mr. Moldenhauer is a thought leader and technologist that makes many technology solutions to help businesses spread their messages.

This is a great idea because as a blind person myself it’s sometimes hard to find a specific place and asking people where it is and being directed can be a pain, trust me, try being at one place and having people point and say, “It’s over there.” With an app like this, it can give you the information about the place because of this beacon or beacons since a business can get these through….

Affiliates! As I mentioned above, I am an affiliate with N Reach and in order for businesses to know about this I do get in contact with some and have done it with a few already or show up in person and hand them a card which an affiliate gets given a pack of a hundred of these things. It gives the information to where to go to sign up, what pricing packages are there in case you want just one beacon for one location or more to put on locations across town. It is a service so I will make sure to include the link which is….

For Businesses: For any businesses who may be reading this and want to know more about N Reach and what its message, what price packages are available to you you can go to http://www.nrea.ch for pricing, videos to show what this program is about, even what it can do for someone who is a customer with a visual impairment that comes in regularly to your business either alone or with friends, since I do hang out with my gal pals once a month and if a new place comes up on the N Reach app with the beacon I can open it up and have it read out to me or them for the info. It does help us a lot even if we’re traveling alone. So make sure you check out the link and I will place one of their videos in this post to see what your business can do when it comes to accessibility.

That’s all I have so far. If you have a business and may want your customers, blind or even sighted people can get this app, you can go to http://www.nrea.ch for all of the info about pricing and the packages available. If you guys want me to interview the founders, I will gladly do that since we have recently did another Skype interview with one of our local bands in town. Which reminds me, I need to get in contact with the House of Blues about N Reach!

That is it for this short post on a new app, also if you want to be an affiliate yourself to help your blind community members or your Blindness Organizations, you can also check out that link I have included because we need more businesses to join this network. Stay tuned I have another post for you all today! Follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for all of our updates and will even update with my second post. So stay beautiful while traveling the universe!
Official N Reach Website

Assistive Tech: Meet the Be My Eyes App!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe! I am back with another Assistive Technology post!

Be My Eyes!

Since I’ve been talking about Microsoft’s Soundscape for a while now it was time to bring something new to the Assistive Tech category on here and that’s a handy little app known as Be My Eyes. I’ve known about this app for a few years now and it has changed the accessibility game even for myself since I have to rely on my sighted peers or parents for help but this is a great app to help you when you don’t have anyone around.

The Idea Behind It: Before we get into what it does I feel like talking about the idea behind it. This app’s story started in Denmark in 2012 with Hans Jorgen Wiberg who is a furniture craftsmen that was also visually impaired and all thanks to his work through the Danish Association For the Blind he recognized that the blind people in his community need a little help and with a blind friend having video calls with family members to give him assistance, Hans came up with an idea to use video chat features on someone’s phone or tablet to get this kind of assistance and that deals with volunteers instead.

What It Does? What this app does basically opens up on the main area of the app, when you first register which you need to is that it does ask if you’re a volunteer or the blind person using this app and I’m blind so I have been using it, and it gives you the button when you’re the person using this app as a blind person a button to call anyone and it sends a call to ten people and whoever gets it then they can see through your camera and you ask what you need help with, for example I needed help with money once and Seeing A. I. didn’t have the Currency channel at the time and my little gadget from the Talking Book Library died right about that time and the person was able to help me out. Another example, I don’t like interrupting conversations unless I need to and during a luncheon with the NFB of Central Florida I got a raffle ticket and someone who still had some sight was busy so I opened up Be My Eyes and used it to read out the last three digits out to me. As I said, it can do anything! I remember a British lady did do an interview where she demonstrated how to find a green spool of thread.

I bet you’re wondering, does the sighted volunteer get any information or looks at anything else that might be private, I did go to the panel on this during the NFB National Convention and all they see is what you is in front of them to help guide. One thing is they need more sighted volunteers at the moment and I suggest downloading the app and sign up for it because it would give you some nice work experience. Trust me, volunteering does help and doing it for the blind is even more helpful!

I’m going to try and see about interviewing the Hans since of course Denmark is six hours ahead of us and it would be cool to do a Skype interview with an app developer that has been helping for three years now. Oh almost forgot!

What Platforms Is It Available On? You can get Be My Eyes on the IOS App Store which I did for my IPhone and my IPad one time and of course on the Google Play Store for Android. The great news for anyone who has the Braille Note Touch or the Braille Sense Polaris, you can get it on the Play Store too through those devices because I asked during the National Convention if it could work with Braille devices since now they are building the note takers with cameras and Android tech, don’t worry will get to that review, and they didn’t know. A few days of resting, I decided to test it on my Polaris and it does work! I know it seems odd to hear a Braille device having a camera but they do see what’s in front of them through Be My Eyes and I used it with a pack of Oreos my dad bought for my nephews while they visited and they saw it clearly through the app. So if you have a Note Touch from Human Ware or a Polaris from HIMS it’s available and you just wear the device so in case if you’re somewhere with it and need help with a hand out from a teacher or what’s on the board you have Be My Eyes. And good news is that it’s free by the way. And by the way…

New Features: There is a new feature for Be My Eyes and that is the Specialized Help tab in the app. This is where you can connect with the Be My Eyes Technical Support and also Microsoft! They are trying to grow this where you can suggest other companies and maybe they should have Apple and Google Support for the Specialized Help, or even Freedom Scientific, you never know!

Well, that’s it for this post! Next app I will be talking about is a new one for locating places and that is N Reach! So stay tuned for that! And also in other news, we will be interviewing the band Traverser through Skype! Yay! We wanted to interview them for a while and they’ve been out somewhere in the universe and back for a new performance in August and will be interviewing the guys as they are about to rehearse for the big show! I will try to get an interview with Hans from Be My Eyes since this has been a big help so far in my life, heck even Nerdy Shirts was surprised that an app like it exists. So make sure to follow us on Twitter whenever we tweet about any interviews going up on YouTube and a lot more over @ Nerdy Shique! Until next time, stay beautiful in the universe!

Note: To find out more about Be My Eyes, link included in this post even for anyone who wants to volunteer!Be My Eyes Official Website

Conventions: National Federation of the Blind National Convention 2018 Review!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe, I am back from a nice rest because I was at the NFB National Convention last week and man it was a huge experience and a new environment since I never thought I would be at a convention minus the costumes that I am usually familiar with but I was in my element since I’m visually impaired myself. Let’s see what I have to say about this event. But first as always…

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog! Please Respect the thoughts and opinions since this based on the experience they went through.

Location: First is the location and that is at the Rosen Shingle Creek and man this place was bigger than the Rosen Center itself despite that one was also connected to the Convention Center downtown on International Drive. If you remembered when Gondras and I covered Omni Fandom Expo 2015 it was at the Rosen Center and you had the events on the bottom floor and top floor while Rosen Shingle Creek felt like it was like the World Center in my observation because a ton of ballrooms to work with, plus you have more panel rooms upstairs to use right above the lower lobby and then more escalators leading to more board rooms and a printing store, oh yes you can print stuff if you need it which I had to with my resume for the Job Fair, which I will get to a bit later. Plus you do have the food court which is a little pricey, I did have my snacks but I needed a caffeine recharge since their coffee shop was reasonably priced, even more reasonable than Starbucks. I would say the white chocolate lattes are great. Anyways, this place should be an anime convention place too because conventions do out grow their location, heck Holiday Matsuri is a good example of that, since there are tons of rooms to play with and even the main ballroom in the Sebastian areas were huge for General Sessions and held all of the State Affiliates of the NFB. Even the Independence Market and Exhibitors Hall was very well sized for what they were displaying and selling, which I will got to…

Exhibitors and Independence Market: Now! This room was pretty much where my money went because I found stuff I needed and found very well. I know it’s weird calling it Independence Market but it’s due to vendors selling items to help us in the blind community to be more independent such as books, tech, and even Braille slates! I found a vendor who sold my favorite full page slate which I still have from EBay. The main thing I wanted was a new watch because my old taking one had the talking part die permanently. Let me describe it, it not only has the digital numbers but it does have its talking setting where you can set the time, the alarms, and now you change the voice on the talking models now from when I looked at them. I decided to change to Braille because the thing is as a convention and concert goer, especially with one concert coming up in August, it’s hard to hear these things over the noise and not only that they can go off if you set the hour alert and can be a bit disruptive. So, I went with Braille and it was kind of hard to set the time on this but I like how to touch the watch face and where the hour and minute hands point to at the dots. Which on the clock face you have the 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 are single dots while the 3, 6, 9, and 12 have more of a wedge to touch while feeling the time. Plus it makes it better than just using my phone which I have done for the past year and a half to two years. Plus, this watch I paid for was not that bad because you have some going into the hundred dollar to two hundred range which I went with the $55 and a tip for women who love to grow their nails, go with the men’s model because the watch face is bigger and it’s easier to feel when you have long nails. I had long nails when I bought mine even though they broke during the entire week I was there and had to clip mine but getting the men’s version would be easier to feel since the women’s watch faces are smaller and the dots are too. Just letting you know. Besides buying different items for the independence part, I had to replace my battery for my Victor Reader Stream, for a while now I ran into the issue where I touched the battery and it shuts off and had to order a new one. I was glad that Human Ware was there to take care of that which they were promoting their Stream, the Stream Trek, and the Braille Note Touch. If you don’t know what the Braille Note Touch is, it’s basically where you take a Braille display and fuse with an Android tablet where you have the display and the keyboard on top of an Android tablet and you can also Braille on the tablet too. I almost went with this Polaris had my heart and yes HIMS was also there which I will talk about that with events next.

I did go to the State Affiliates area where in this area all the different NFB State Chapters were selling things to fund raise and you also get to talk to them one on one and get to meet who else is out there. I did buy some things and got to chat with Massachusetts since I was born in Boston and they were happy, I got to chat with Arizona since I will be starting at Northern Arizona in the fall and they are some of the nicest people, also even got a popcorn ball from Nebraska since they claim to have the best popcorn in the United States and they weren’t joking! I got a popcorn ball and they said it is soft and tastes like marshmallow and it does! If I go to Nebraska I must visit their popcorn shops and get more of these because normally around Halloween time when Brach’s does their popcorn balls they are hard cement! Not kidding. These from Nebraska, I highly recommend if you ever visit Nebraska or go to their State Conventions or even the NFB National. I also did get to meet Hawaii briefly because my brother was stationed there and they are also sweet too! I did have a bit of situation with charging banks from Alabama though. As you know, I had a Pikachu one from Think Geek which GameStop sold during Hurricane Irma time and somehow it did not like my Apple devices and wanted to get a better one since you know me and traveling especially with our convention travels and when I heard that chargers will be sold I went and asked about that on Day Three and found them at Alabama, the one that I was sold was not working right and even with the cords so I did exchange it and did lose the cords because they fell out of my bag somehow but the good news is the one that got exchanged works properly even with a new cord I got on EBay and got in the mail today. I can even recharge my Polaris with this thing with its own USB cord. But back to the story, even though I was sad, I decided to find New York since they also had one and they had two left and I was lucky to get theirs as well and that thing charged my Victor Reader Stream! So yes, I now have two charge banks and working because of Alabama and New York, which I must thank now and if I was out somewhere and one doesn’t work without any juice I do have a backup and also my friends can use since there are times where outlets aren’t always in close range even at a restaurant.

Another thing I did pick up which I was really excited about was from the National Braille Press! This is an organization that prints Braille books and sells them and not bad for pricing either and the books are for all ages because I felt a Dr. Seuss book while I was at their table. I got a book that I heard about through the Blind Side Podcast through an interview with the author Judy Dixon and it is called Writing Your Way: Composing and editing on an IPhone and IPad. This interview was very informative because it talks about the many ways you can edit on writing apps on your IPhone and IPad, I wonder about Android tablets since I do use my Polaris and Galaxy Tab E. I have to take a read myself and I was happy that they carried this at the convention and did buy it so I can have it and can use it as a teaching tool while working. I highly suggest National Braille Press in case if you need that specific Braille book for your loved ones or even as gifts for them because we don’t want to leave anyone in the dark without a good book! I may have to talk to them and see about getting my books in Braille, what about that?

Besides some of these companies, there were also Google showing off their tech which I want to get myself a Chrome Book since I got to test out Chrome Vox on them and of course wishing they had Google Play cards which I will talk about down in the Needs in Improvements area for one thing. Also, a new app has been developed for locations which is like Soundscape but more in detail called N Reach and I have become an affiliate with them by the way, which I need to get my cards out to businesses. (Tried to on Monday at the mall but couldn’t get the chance!) And one awesome exhibitor is 3D Photo Works who does tactile photos, Braille plaques, and audio descriptions for exhibits and they are trying to get into more museums, which reminds me I need to still talk to the Science Center because this would help any blind visitors be able to feel the photos that are displayed, read the plaques, and not only that hear any information because at their booth they talked about how they helped with the Vietnam Exhibit in Washington and had three pictures as examples. If you want these guys to do something a museum near you, I would suggest talking to the museum and have them get in contact with this company because a blind person like me can’t see the exhibits, the last exhibit I was able to see was the Tiffany Glass Exhibit here in town and I can imagine what if their exhibit had these plaques and this kind of tactile work on top of it. There is a lot to think about with this company.

Events: Woot! A lot to talk about here and I feel my fingers hurting slightly! I am still pumped! There were a lot of events to go to and so little time because a lot of them took place at the same time and a good tip is choose wisely while reading the agenda in its final form. Which the good thing was you can download and store it for your pleasure. I downloaded, nice tip for everyone with a Braille device, the Word document and transferred it over onto my Braille Sense Polaris so I can feel it if I need to. I should do that with all of the convention guidebooks or if I get KNFB Reader I can take pictures of it too.

Day 1 was more seminar day where you can meet some of the companies that will be there in the Exhibitors Hall and of course in the morning there was also parent meetings for any blind parent or parents with blind children to discuss tips and advice and many other things even talking about the day care services that were going to be on site. I went to the HIMS Seminar since I do have my Polaris and of course discussed some issues with the typing in Word Processor where I and other people experienced where the cursor moved time to time. This was annoying while taking notes on the JAWS Certification materials. Also some issues with navigating the Google Suite editing areas. Hoping that can be fixed even with the next updates.

The next few days were filled with General Sessions where the president, Mark Rickabono, talked about many things that the NFB has been working on to improve our lives as blind people, heck even his speech almost put me in tears because I faced so much back in school, I still remember how I was taken out of my Exceptional Education Minor to be in my Writing Minor because I was told how I can’t make it through Grad School because it would be too hard for me, heck I am going now! I didn’t stay for resolutions on Saturday, well the end of it, because it was going to be a long ways through it and I felt that I was falling asleep, heck I fainted a bit after Friday’s session let out. It’s due to exhaustion since I did commute with paratransit and had to be there in time for the first General Session. And of course, we did find out where next year NFB Convention is was going to be for National and that is in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino! Knowing Nevada is happy about that! Hoping I can save enough to go out there or get a Master’s to try for the NFB National Scholarship again which this convention did inspire me to look into more schooling if I can because what if I want to continue with my education? Let’s see what’s happens!

More things took place, heck I even volunteered at the Braille Book Fair which takes place during the convention where kids and their parents can look through many Braille books and take them and have them sent home to where they live via UPS. I felt really good volunteering at this because I love reading even if it is in Braille and having that experience to help out did help me have the one on one with kids and their parents, I even gave tips to a woman who had a girl who went through a stroke and needed tips on getting her dexterity back. Plus it gave me leverage before I start teaching blind people again and I felt more of my confidence again as I helped. And to tell you the truth, I missed volunteering for things like these since it gives me experience and a bigger heart as I help.

Let’s see what else happened! Oh right! Friday night, Gondras met up with me and besides meeting up with me we had an amazing experience and that was…: drum roll: we got to interview Apl D Ap from the Black Eyed Peas! :: hears fans screaming:: I wanted to interview him since an interesting fact is that he’s visually impaired and was performing this year and this was a great opportunity to get someone who has been in the music business who is also blind in on the YouTube side of this blog since it’s a nice change from our voice actors we get to interview and we get to learn more about him. Just hold on and follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique when we upload the video from this interview along with more information about his own charity, Apple of My Eye, hoping I spelled that right, and so much more! And other people I got to meet were the developers of the Be My Eyes app which as you may have seen my Assistive Tech Panel from Omni 2017 where I demonstrated this app, will I have a future interview with them? I will be in the works of setting that up to do it over Skype since they are from Denmark which made it interesting even with one of them having my eye condition on top of it. I did demonstrate it on my Polaris and it works as much as the Apple version. I did Tweet them about it too. And finally, I got to go to Google’s presentation on their tech because I wanted to see what’s new in their development in Accessibility even with Android. Again, I want a Chrome Book after this presentation because I want to be open minded in the tech and they are also developing an app that is like Seeing A. I. almost and maybe I should write about that one as well if I can test it on my tablet or on my Polaris so stay tuned for that! I didn’t go to Microsoft’s presentation because I had so much to do in between and Google did their presentation at the same time, but Microsoft did a repeat and I only got to their Narrator portion. I did hear how their presentation focused more on the Narrator side rather than Soundscape and Seeing A. I. which I heard that demo for Seeing A. I. was not as great. Okay Microsoft, you do awesome presentations at E3, what’s going on? If I was there and demonstrating Seeing A. I., I would do all of the channels on it because it is critical to show off each one even with currency. And of course, if you guys were at that presentation, I would say go to my posts about Soundscape where I tested it in two malls so far and I did test it out in Shingle Creek which it did detect the area I was in. And finally, my finishing event, I did go to the job fair but briefly since I did have to catch my ride. It was loud! But at least I got to talk to the NFB and the New Jersey Coalition for the Blind about the Access Tech positions on top of it and did find Lighthouse Central Florida since they were also looking for people. It felt great to re-connect with them and give them updates.

Rating: CONVENTION ACCOMPLISHED! This convention deserves a Convention Accomplished because it kind of makes me connect more with my blind peers in one place. Even though I missed the costume parts but this was a different environment and a new aspect of conventions. This brings a huge community together and get to know each other, what is going on with us in one huge organization, not only that make us think that we’re not the only one being blind even in our own state. I got to meet people from Nebraska, Arizona, Hawaii, heck there was Puerto Rico as one of the NFB Affiliates! Wishing I caught one of the members but hey I cheered for them along with Arizona and Massachusetts. Plus, I found out that I am not the only blind cosplayer that exists because one of the National Scholarship Finalists was one too! She makes her own stuff and I got to meet her which was awesome! I want to suggest that the NFB should have a Geeky Division because we are blind geeks/nerds. That is why there is nerd in this blog’s name. Still, this convention was very inspiring and I hope to go to more of them even if they end up in Georgia, Massachusetts, even in Louisiana if Gondras and I get to travel that far.

Needs for Improvements: Well, not all conventions are perfect so there are some needs for improvement.

Microsoft Demo All Aspects Of Accessible Products: What I mean by this is that I heard that not all of the aspects of seeing A. I. was not tested and well that got me thinking why aren’t demonstrating all the aspects of products. I did notice that Narrator was tested in all aspects and knowing they want to show that it’s a free screen reader but to me Microsoft has way more stuff to it and that it can be demonstrated more from what I heard.
Repeat the Demonstrations throughout the Week: What I mean by this is that I noticed that according to the agenda that Microsoft was the only one who got a repeat because not everyone can go to every demonstration in the agenda. I think this would benefit anyone who couldn’t make it to the Google one and can go to the second showing since one day they were at the same time as Microsoft and that would be nice if it was vice versa for anyone who wanted to see Google but didn’t get to. Repeating the brand demonstrations can help with the overload and can give more options to people in what to do after the General Sessions are done. Plus, it gives the person what they missed a new opportunity to catch it later if they have something else to go to or needs to eat.
Time Slots Should Be More Organized: What I mean is that there were times where some things ran over during General Sessions or that when I get to an area that the time changed and etc. I know the final agenda is published way in advanced but they should at least confirm some of the time slots to be accurate and edit the agenda before the convention probably two weeks before because I noticed that some things ran over or an example I was supposed to volunteer at 1 in the afternoon for the Braille Book Fair but I had to go back at 3:45 for the actual event. I think it would be easier to either edit the agenda to fit the time slots or during the presentations, like Google did, set a timer for each speaker because some of them ran over and doing the timer thing can help out a little. If you have to be up on the stage for fifteen minutes then set that timer and not only that, if you know your event starts late then send a group email to the newsletter since some people do check their emails during the day whether it’s on the Polaris, Braille Note Touch, or on their phone they can read it and say, “Oh! It got pushed back! Gotcha!” I understand so many events so little time but starting on time makes more sense.
More Volunteers to Guide: What I mean is that I feel like there were volunteers to tell you where the escalators, stairs, and ballrooms were but there should’ve been more and they should’ve also given more details in where to go like this ballroom to your left or right and probably have some volunteers to able to say, “Hey, need some help! Grab on and I will lead you!” Heck, even for bathrooms because there were some bathrooms where there was single room and so many people were trying to get into them and it was hard to tell Women and Men from that one particular bathroom, would be nice to have someone standing and say, “Women’s Bathroom over here!” and vice versa since it was hard getting around when there were people with canes and dogs in one area. And also, didn’t know that I couldn’t sit in one part where it was to the side that was counted as foot traffic areas, should be nice to have volunteers warning us about that too because there was no mention of that as rules anywhere even if you were to the side or at least have volunteers asking, “Hey, do you need a seat? There are free seats over here.” Just saying!
Making Registration Easier to Navigate: I bring this idea up because while walking round the Registration Area we didn’t know where to go or how the lines were split. I heard there were ropes before, where were they? That would be easy or I gave this as an idea and that is Lego Tape on the ground. Oh yes, there is tape made with Legos that you can use to stick and build upon one on top of the other, it would help with the shoreline bit with getting around the Registration area instead of bumping into the ropes which I did before and it was not pleasant, it happened one year at an anime con by the way. People were surprised that it exists because Assistive Tech FAQS mentioned this as a way of building an ergonomic platform for a keyboard. NFB you should try it out for making shorelines for this area or even the Exhibitor’s Hall and the General Session and Presentation Rooms to help with finding exits and chairs.
Making Signs For Tourists: Another thing I have noticed is that a few stray tourists were hanging around the convention area that weren’t a part of the convention which I have asked directions. They didn’t know what I was talking about and realized that they weren’t there for the convention just sitting around. I understand that some tourists like to sit around but there are other areas for them to be in that is not the convention floor, as in they can be the food court area, the pool, and there was another side to the hotel, which this brings me to my last point and that is there should be signs for any stray wonderers telling them that a blind convention is being held in this hotel, like one sign would say, “Welcome to all tourists! There is a blindness convention this way! Try to help our patrons.” Because there are times where not all tourists know what event they are witnessing and not there for it, trust me I’ve seen it with anime conventions where people stayed at the hotel for theme parks and family but hang around the area which can be confusing even for a blind person. And the helping part, the tourist may be able to help if they had amap of the event to guide if need be for instance if someone had the map and I asked where registration was and they can say, “Oh, I have a map here that someone gave me, follow me.” It can make things a little easier since we can get lost and not everyone would know that they are in an area where people may need help in.

Well, I think that’s good enough here because I think I talked about so much when it came to this convention already. I think I smell smoke from my fingers. This convention was fun and sad to hear that it won’t be in Orlando for a while but hey at least people can travel to someplace they never been before. I hope to go to Vegas but if not you guys in Vegas and other parts of the country who are blind or knows someone who is blind to check it out and also be a member of the NFB because they believe in living the life you want since blindness doesn’t define you as a person. I want to thank the NFB of Florida for giving me the Dr. Jernagand Scholarship so I can be a part of this convention by attending it and getting to interview Apl D Ap and not only that getting to give my services to the Braille Book Fair. So, this hoping for the future especially with me since there are more things to explore and do for this blog and the YouTube Channel. So make sure you follow us on Twitter! Until next time!

Accessibility In Gaming Part 2: What d Do I Want to See In This?

Hello my beautiful nerds traveling throughout the vast universe! I’m back with a new post and this time it’s a continuation of a past post I’ve done!

Accessibility in Gaming Part 2: What I Want To See in Gaming With This?

Stellarnan gave me this idea since she brought an article about a new controller Microsoft had developed for their XBOX for anyone with hand issues to play one handed. This is a step in the right direction since it has popped up and now Microsoft has been working on a lot of things in the Accessibility Department. I even participated in the NFB’s webinar with Narrator recently and can see improvements. Not only that, don’t forget Seeing AI and Soundscape made for IOS.

  1. ind that should be included1. Nintendo Get More Into Accessibility! As you know, I play a lot of pokemon and it’s not easy playing without any assistance. I did use Seeing A.i. with the Short Text setting to read things on the screen and it was great but it would be tedious holding it up all the time even with a tripod. I did mention this and that Nintendo needs to get into the accessibility game more even though they did start with the contrast adjustment settinngs on the Switch. A little fact, according to the episode I listened to the episode by Assistive Tech Update that Nintendo is behind in accessibility due to Microsoft taking the top sot with Sony right behind because of one setting which I will talk about next. Yes, it is nice that they started with the contrast adjustments but not everyone can see that because not everyone has the same eye condition so that brings me to the next point.

  2. More Screen Reading Support! I menttioned Sony because they only have the Text to Speech engine working on their home screen at the moment. Even Gondras demonstrated this when he first got his Playstation 4 this year and we were disappointed that only went far to work on the home screen area which makes us sad and me even more because I have not gottten my paws on Playstation controllers for a long time, well I did have to navigate through the Rock Band 4 song list to find one song I wan sing and that was last year. Anyways, it would be nice that screen reading software be included or as an app to downloaded. I did mention above that not everyone has the same kind of eye cndition to use contrast adjustments with colors, you need low vision for that while total blindness or low vision to the point of not seeing anything requres screen reading. Reason being is because we ccan follow along with the story better to have it read to us, the tutorial screens read to understand what the button combos are and how not to get killed in something ike Final Fantasy XII or even Kingdom Hearts to name a few. And speaking of Final Fantasy, having the emnu options being read out along with who is up next because it would be hard to see that little arrow icon over each character when it is their turn. Okus, give it he Soundscape treatment by telling where an item is like in Pokemon and what building is ahead and nearby because a character does have to buy their supplies to go on and continue their adventure so more screen reading support and even navigation can help someone with lower vision get through a game more easily.

  3. Braille Support On Braille Displays! I know it seems weird but hear me out! Braille has come a long way and it has improved in the tech dpartment and we are having complete Braille tablets being made! Not kidding! Anyways, Braille Note Takers today have Android tech built into them which not only we have the usual built in apps but also Google Play to get the apps we get on our tablets to be installed se. Oh yeah that will be handy when I start my certificate program. What is also great is that they have Bluetooth and Wireless settings and also a USB cable to plug into a computer to use in order to read. So, having a way of using a Braille Display while playing a game would be awesome to use if the screen reading support is not there or still being worked on. Yes, there may be plug-ins needed but it is easy to add onto a device or just have Bluetooth pair with each system like how it does with IPhones with my Braille Sense Polaris. With this ablity, it can read menus, the subtitle boxes when characters speak so you can feel while pushing X or the A button while hearing the story, and even read the tutorials and any notes from that tutorial. Wishing I had that during the PS2 days while playing the original .hack games since it was a lot of text along with dialogue.

  4. Developers and Gamers Should Talk! As in the disabled community, even blind, and the developers should have discussion about these issues. Trust me I have been emailing Nintendo about the screen reading and it will take forever. WHile game developers, on the other hand, seem to be more open. Steve Saylor, the Glind Gamer on YouTube, even is working on that too from his review of the accessible version of God of War where they added some accessible points to the game. In order to improve on games themselves, developers d listen and hear their fans out well most developers, still it shows that they are open to the subject of making their games not only great for their existing audience but new ones as well and that will help with inclusion of new audiences.

Developers Should Speak to Well Known Acccessibility Companies! This is another big point I want to touch upon besides the one above because it can help expand on making games accessible and that is the developers of the systems, technology, and even games should talk with the developers of Narrator, in order to make it inclusive to the screen reading for XBox, JAWS, and even NVDA, and even the devices I have mentioned above in getting ways of how to make their games and systems work with this kind of technology. Without the having talks with each other, it would make it harder to know what to do or how to do it when it comes to making something more accessible to a new market. As in how to make a title be read out by Narrator or how it will look on a Canute 360 for example, having these discussions will take as far as new games come out and new people w

ant to play. Who knows, maybe we will hear UVSoft thanking Freedom Scientific one day for helping them having a screen reader read out Beyond Good & Evil 2 someday on an E3 stage.

So guys, that is it for this post! I know it was a lot to talk about because I have been using Assistive Tech for eight years now and about to go into it for work and school as my career field it would be awesome that the tech we use could expand into video games since I do not want to give up on finishing any of the games I have been playing and I am also planning to get a Switch due to 2019 will be announcin another generation of Pokemon to be made. I would ove to have my Polaris at my side telling me if my Dragonite wants to learn a new move and I need to remove one to make room for it.

So, what is nextt for Nerdy Shique Universe? Well, I need to talk about an affiliate program I just joined because I have been hearing warnings about companies scamming people over Instagram and wanted to talk about it since I just received my product and they were one of the ones mentioned. So stay tuned for that and follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for all of the latest updates! Oh right, also gotta do a Faves post! Until next time!