ATU444 – Holiday Gift Show 2019 Part 1

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Your weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.

Show Notes: Wade Wingler, Nikol Prieto, Brian Norton  

Items Mentioned on this week’s show – this IS NOT an endorsement for these products, just some links so that you can check them out for yourself:

Remote Car Starters: Many different retailers Gobi

Heated Jacket: https://gobiheat.com/collections/mens?utm_source=google-ad&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=heated-jackets-US

ThermaCell Heated Insoles: https://www.amazon.com/Thermacell-THS01-S-p-ThermaCell-Rechargeable/dp/B0089VUGQA

Lazy Readers: https://www.amazon.com/Glasses-Horizontal-Spectacles-Children-We/dp/B07F6XDBKM

C-Pen: http://www.readerpen.com

Orcam: https://www.orcam.com/en/

Bookshare: https://www.bookshare.org/cms/

iPad: www.apple.com

iRobot Mop: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019OH9898/?creativeASIN=B019OH9898&linkCode=w61&imprToken=sxrJY.5YPvzrcc1CsK7R0A&slotNum=134&tag=ibbb05-20

Amazon Echo Devices: www.amazon.com

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——————————Transcript Starts Here—————————–

>> Happy Holidays from the Assistive Technology Center at Easterseals Crossroads!  This is your Assistive Technology Update.

[Music.]

>> That music can mean only one thing.  It’s Nikol’s favorite time of year.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Ho, Ho, Ho.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Listen to that.  We actually got that out of her.  Welcome to our show for 2019.  Today I’m joined by some wonderful guests, and we’ll start off with Nikol Prieto, the belle of the season.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Hi, I’m Nikol Prieto and the Community Outreach Coordinator with the INDATA Project.

>> WADE WINGLER:  And the only consistent voice on this show from its inception, quite frankly.

NIKOL PRIETO:  I think that’s true.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Yeah.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  And probably the person that likes it the least.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yeah, it’s not my favorite holiday.  I enjoy a lot things about it, including this podcast.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  There you go.  So, you see, that’s good.  Nikol actually keeps up her Halloween decorations until about January.

NIKOL PRIETO:  I do, yeah.  There are a few things about Christmas I like.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  My daughters put their Christmas decorations up on Halloween.

NIKOL PRIETO:  On Halloween night.  And it was cold enough to do it, too.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  And our next guest is a voice that needs no introduction, Mr. Wade Wingler.

WADE WINGLER:  Hey, everybody.  Josh, thanks so much for asking me to be back in the studio and do the holiday show.  I love it.  I miss you guys.  This is so much fun.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  And it’s great to have him here.  And I even offered to let him edit the entire show, but apparently he didn’t want that part back.

WADE WINGLER:  Yeah, I’m not sure I remember how to do that.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  I’m sure.  I’m sure.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  It’s quick to learn, man, like a bicycle.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Exactly.  It’ll be fine.  It’ll be fine.

And hiding over in the corner is Mr. Brian Norton.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Hi.  Hey, guys, how are you?  Yeah, my name’s Brian Norton.  I’m with Easterseals just like the rest of the folks in the room.

[Laughter]

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Thanks, Brian, that’s true.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  I’m going to go ahead and give you my CV card and tell you everything about me.  I’m the Director of Assistive Technology here.  Super excited to be here.  And I love Christmas.  Love, love, love.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  He really does.  This is his favorite time of year.  He is always in the holiday spirit.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Hashtag Christmas 365.

[Music.]

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Do you know it’s not even December yet?  It is freezing in Indianapolis.

>> Brrrr.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  And I hate cold weather.  So, guys, what are some great winter gifts to help you keep warm?  Nikol?

NIKOL PRIETO:  Something that is definitely on my wish list is a remote car starter.  I absolutely hate the cold, as well.  And scraping ice off your window is such a pain in the butt.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Yes, it is.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It is.  And I use up a lot of gas this time of year because I run out freezing cold.  Unless there is 3 feet of snow, I’m just goint to start the car and let it melt it off.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yeah, absolutely.  But you’ve had to go out and now you’re freezing already.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Freezing and I’m covered in snow.

>> NIKOL PRIETO:  That’s right.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  That’s terrible.  Yeah, so if I could just do that from the comfort of my own home, that would be.   

NIKOL PRIETO:  Absolutely. 

And for somebody who has a physical disability, it might just be the difference of them not being able to leave because they can’t physically scrape the windows.  So with the remote car starter from your window, you’re about 500 feet away from that.  You just push a button.  That starts the car.  Leave your car on defrost and let it do its magic while you wait in the warm.  And that takes care of it all for you. 

So that is definitely on my wish list, and I bet it’s on a lot of people’s wish lists.  Around 2 to $400 depending on where you have that done.

WADE WINGLER:  Nice.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Do you know how they work?  When I want to start my vehicle, I look over the parking lot here at work over my car, I’d love to be able to look out my window, start my car, but does ‑‑ are people able to drive the car without the actual keys in the ignition?

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  No.

NIKOL PRIETO:  No.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  So that’s perfect.  Because I always worry someone’s going to drive off with my car.  But if I could hit that, they wouldn’t be able to drive off, I could just heat it. 

>> NIKOL PRIETO:  Your doors are still locked.  They’re not able to drive off with it.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  That’s perfect.  I would love, love, love that.  We should make that mandatory.  For all employees, everybody gets an electric starter.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  You know, that would be great.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Things are looking up around here.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  We need to write Brian.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Wait, wait, wait.  Did I say that?

NIKOL PRIETO:  Christmas is coming early.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Well, our Christmas party’s gonna be great this year, guys.  Awesome.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Nice, nice.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  So, Brian, what about, you know, when you get out of the car?  What’s something that might be able to keep you warm?

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Yeah, so I love to be warm.  And one of the things that I would love to get for Christmas is a heated jacket.  And I found one.  It’s Gobi Heat.  It’s made by Gobi Heat.  They are heated jackets.  They have a lot more things, too.  They have different types of, like, sweater vests, different lighter jackets.  But they’re all heated.  And they actually ‑‑ their tag line is “harness the heat of the desert.  Heated jackets, gloves and more.” 

But essentially you’ve got this little, looks like what looks like a button that you can press.  And it just ‑‑ it has a little bit, think about like a portable heating blanket.  But it’s built into the inseams of your coat.  And as you’re out and about, you just press that button.  It just goes ahead and heats up and you can stay warm on the go. 

And I would love that because as Josh mentioned earlier, we’re early November right now.  I know the show doesn’t come out till Black Friday, but it’s cold.  It’s really cold.  It’s like 20, 30 degrees below the normal.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It was 19 degrees this morning, and it felt every bit of zero.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Yeah.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  I’m not ready.  I am definitely not ready.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Every day I get up, especially when it’s cold like this and the frost gets on the windows, my daughter has to park her car outside the garage.  My wife and I park in the garage.  But I always go out and I scrape her windoes so that she can leave for school.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Oh, so sweet.  You’ll do that until you’re 40.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  But I’m, like, man, it’s really cold.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Don’t give my daughter any ideas.  She will be driving soon, and I will not be doing that.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  I’ve been telling her about that.  I said, “Nikol would be really happy to go out and do that for you in the morning.”

[Laughter]

NIKOL PRIETO:  Lies.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  And for me, I tried to look because, I don’t know, anyone who has to wear dress pants, they have this weird material that’s burlap in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.  And, unfortunately, I couldn’t really find anything that wasn’t just fleece lined, and then you’re inside and you’re too hot. 

My feet get really cold, too, no matter what I’m wearing.  And I did find rechargeable heated insoles.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Nice.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  So, you actually plug them in.  There’s different models.  Some of them have a little remote, and you can turn them on low, medium, high.  Some of them connect to your phone via Bluetooth and have an app. 

I will say not all of them have great reviews just because of battery life.  A lot of them, they just don’t last.  But really and truthfully, I just need them to warm them up.  Then I could turn them off for a while.  Then warm them up, turn them off for a while, warm them up, turn them off for a while.

Little bit expensive.  They range from about 65 to 100 some odd dollars just depending on what size you need.  There’s different brands and things.  But that, I think, could just make a huge difference.  I know I’ve had to work outside before in past jobs, and we always had the little hand warmers, the weird little things that look like the stuff you’re supposed to throw away when you buy new stuff.  And those work really great.  Just not for very long.  And they only keep right where they’re sitting.  And try to get them in your shoes was always really hard and they’re kind of sticky.  They don’t really work real well.  So having something there to be able to keep your feet warm.  They say if you keep can your feet and your head warm, it makes a huge difference.  I think those would be really great things.  So, my wife’s listening, I wouldn’t mind those.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yeah, yeah, that sounds wonderful.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Sweaty feet.  I want sweaty feet for Christmas.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Now, some of them say they are deodorized and breathable, which might also be very, very nice. 

>> BRIAN NORTON:  No kidding.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Yeah, because maybe heating up smelly feet isn’t exactly the best thing to do.  But maybe you don’t want to be around a lot of people.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Mandatory keep your shoes on.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  What is that smell around here? 

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It smells like burned old feet.

[Laughter.]

>> BRIAN NORTON:  That would be cool, though, to stay warm in this cold weather.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Ah‑huh. 

[Music.]

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  So, guys, the cold weather makes it a little bit easier to sit inside, maybe cuddle up with a warm book.  Do you guys have a favorite holiday book, story, something of that sort?

NIKOL PRIETO:  Mine’s definitely The Grinch.  I think that’s just ‑‑

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Of course it is.

[Laughter]

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Bah humbug.

NIKOL PRIETO:  I relate.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Grouchy.

[Laughter.]

NIKOL PRIETO:  Every year, every year my heart does grow three times the size towards the end of the holidays once I’ve survived it.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Once everything is done.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yeah.  That’s probably mine.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Oh, that’s funny.  We have a tradition at our house.  And every Christmas Eve, the last thing we do before bedtime is we read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” the poem.  And it’s just really great. 

And when the line comes in, “we threw up the sash,” we all go, “Bleh!”  WHich is sort of fun.  That’s another gross holiday tradition.  So we do that every year. 

But, you know, Josh, it wasn’t until you asked that question that I remembered a book from my childhood called “How the Littlest Cherub Was Late for Christmas.”

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Really?

WADE WINGLER:  It’s a really cool book.  I’m finding it here on Amazon.  You can buy used copies for 6 or 8 bucks.  But it was just a really great story that my mom read to me and it was about a little cherub who kind of wasn’t doing everything he needed to do in terms of playing his harp and learning how to sing.  And then there’s sort of a redemption message that happens with it, as well.  So it kind of captures the spirit of the season that I think was really great.  So we do “Night Before Christmas” every year, but this book, “The Littlest Cherub” being late for Christmas was just a memory that popped up for me.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Oh, look at him.  He’s cute.   

WADE WINGLER:  Oh, it’s real cute.  It has some cartoon drawings in it and stuff.  And it’s a cool little book.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  That’s fun.

You know, I love all the regular ones.  I love The Grinch.  I love Dr. Seuss’s, “The Grinch” and also “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” but we also have some weird ones.  And there’s one called “The Best.”  And then “It’s The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever.”  And Worst is crossed out.  And it says Best above Worst.  But it’s about this girl who is putting a Christmas pageant on.  It’s just fun.  It’s funny.  It’s fun.  And we just used to read books all the time with the girls as we were getting ready for Christmas and putting up stuff. 

And, again, we start early.  We have already started to put our stuff up and have most of it ready and plan to put the rest of it up very shortly.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s one of my favorites.  When I was a kid, one Christmas my mom got me this stuffed donkey.  And then this book ‑‑

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Nester?

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  I don’t remember the name of the book, it’s terrible.

>> WADE WINGLER:  I bet it’s Nester.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It might be.  But it was, yeah, it was the Christmas story, the birth of Jesus told from the donkey’s point of view.

>> “Nester, The Long Eared Mule.”

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  That must have been it.  That must have been it.  But, no, I remember reading that.  I was so excited.  And I’m pretty sure that donkey just eventually fell apart because it got carried around for so long.  I was probably 4, 5 years old.  I was a pretty bad habit of whatever my favorite stuffed animal was was on my arm and carried everywhere.  That was one of my favorites back then. 

And then I’m looking forward to just because Penelope is almost one, and kind of ‑‑ she loves books.  She really just likes to look at pictures and point at them.  I think she’s almost getting to the point, though, where she yells at me if I skipped a page.  I think she’s already kind of figured that out.  But I’m looking forward to kind of reading all the Christmas stories and everything to her just because that’s her big thing.  She loves books right now.  Sometimes she wants you to read them to her.  Sometimes she just wants to play with them and open them and throw them all over the room.  But really looking forward to that. 

[Music.]

So, speaking of reading, Nikol, you found some really great tech that could kind of maybe help folks with reading or just make reading a little bit more accessible.  What are some of those items?

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yeah, I found something really cool.  It’s Lazy Readers.  They’re really neat.  They have a prism design.  They’re just a regular looking glass that you wear.  So you can read while you’re laying down.  It’s got this 90‑degree angle with a prism design.  So when you’re laying flat down, you can still read your book without straining your neck.  Just super neat.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Yeah, and you can kind of if you’re looking forward and you have the book almost in your lap, you can really see it, too.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Right, right.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  So if you have any kind of mobility challenges or anything like that because I know, you know, looking down isn’t really a good thing all the time.  But I love the idea of reading in bed like that.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Absolutely.  Watching television, reading in bed.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Oh, most definitely because it’s almost impossible to get comfortable or, you know, if you are looking down at it, your neck and back’s sore by the time you lay down.  So that’s awesome.

NIKOL PRIETO:  And they’re really cheap.  About 12 bucks on Amazon.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  So, perfect, perfect, perfect.  What about some of the other things that maybe could help somebody who maybe has challenges reading?

NIKOL PRIETO:  So we’ve got ‑‑ something that I found was the C‑Pen reading pen.  And that’s super cool for anyone who might have a visual impairment, dyslexia, any type of reading disability. 

And it just scans text for you and it will read the print out loud.  And it has a built‑in speaker that you can use an ear phone jack or a headphone use. 

I know there’s a lot of text‑to‑speech options now.  But the thing that’s neat about this is it’s a stand‑alone feature.  So it can be used in tests. 

If you had an iPad, the concern would be you could get on the Internet or you could have your answers on there and you could cheat on the test.  But with this stand‑alone device, it will read it out aloud to you and assist kids who have any learning disability.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  For sure.  And it’s kind of easy to learn, too, because you just kind of move it across the line of text and it just reads it right there.

NIKOL PRIETO:  That’s right.  And it has some really cool features.  It will highlight things.  It can scan the document into ‑‑ from a book.  It can scan it in for you.  It has a dictionary and a voice recorder.  So several really cool features for learning.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Nice.  Very nice. 

And I know we kind of talked about this on the show a while back, but you were going to talk about the OrCam?

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yeah.  Oh, wow.  The OrCam is really cool.  So it’s also a wearable assistive technology device.  It’s for blind and visually impaired.  You just have a little ‑‑ they look like regular glasses or you could wear your own glasses and magnet on there. 

And so the little box will just be a magnet on the side of your glasses.  And it uses AI to recognize text.  And you use simple hand gestures to get it to respond.  So you point from your nose to the text, and it starts reading it out loud.  It’s Bluetooth enabled, so you can use a headphone or speaker so other folks won’t have to hear that.  You can use voice commands.  It can recognize faces.  It also does really cool things like recognize bar codes on products so you can shop independently if you have a vision impairment.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Nice.  So a whole lot more than just reading.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yeah, it’s very cool.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Very, very cool.  And then just for the last thing, tell our listeners about Bookshare.   

NIKOL PRIETO:  Bookshare.org.  It’s a really cool site.  It’s e‑books for people with reading barriers.  If you have dyslexia or a vision impairment or even a mobility impairment, it’s tough for you to hold a book, you can find these e‑books on Bookshare.org.  They have school work.  They have joy reading.  Just anything that you can think of is on there. 

You can get unlimited access if you’re a qualified U.S. student.  And then it’s less than a dollar a week for adults in our country.  And then they do have a reduced fee in other countries. 

So the books can be read directly from the Internet browser, on a computer, tablet or smartphone or that has a compatible app.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Nice. 

[Music.]

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  So, around for a while the iPad’s still a pretty popular gift for folks for Christmas.  The new operating system has some great new accessibility features.  Brian, can you tell us about those exciting new accessibility features?

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Yeah.  So there are several new and exciting things that are available in the new IOS update operating system.  That’s 13.1.  And they’ve had a couple of incremental updates since it was first released to fix some bugs.  But, really, it’s pretty phenomenal in what it’s allowed folks to have.

Really, the two things that I think stand out, it still does screen reading, so it still has Voiceover.  It still has Zoom for folks with low vision.  Still does a lot of things with colors and buttons, making those things stand out to folks who have low vision, as well.

But I think the two features that I think are kind of new and interesting and really useful for folks are really for mobility issues. 

And so you can now use a bluetooth mouse on your iPad or phone through IOS 13.  And so buy a Bluetooth mouse, really any Bluetooth mouse, you can then connect.  And now you can start pointing and clicking at the different icons that are on the screen, open them up.  You can open up a context menu.  And so, really, through the mouse, you can access the whole, whole iPad or device.

The other thing I think is really helpful, as well, is now they’ve done ‑‑ so you’ve always been able to do dictation, right?  So you can send text messages, write emails, any text field you would dictate into and it would put the text you’re dictating into that field. 

Well, now they’ve done something and they’ve added Voice Control.  And I think Voice Control is phenomenal.  I played with it a little bit.  But it really gives you hands‑free access to the entire device.  And so I can swipe my screen left, I can swipe my screen right.  I can also then go to the home page very, very easily.  I can open up program by name. 

But even beyond that, if you have difficulty with the program names, you can just have it put numbers on everything that’s on the screen.  So whether that’s the apps that are on the regular screens or if you’re within a program, it’ll put numbers on all the controls that are within those programs. 

And so, again, really, really amazing what they’ve done with IOS 13 and providing additional accessibility. 

And I tell you what.  They really went big.  They’ve actually moved accessibility settings in the new operating system, as well, to the forefront.  And I thought that was kind of an important move for them to make sure that folks could find accessibility settings that used to be buried under the General tab underneath Settings.  And now it’s just the part of the regular menu system.  And so you don’t have to dig deep to be able to make those setting changes.  It’s just right there when you go into Settings.  It’s on the main list of options. 

And so, you know, it’s kind of an exciting time.  Not just Apple but Google and Amazon, all of those places are really looking at accessibility in a new way.  And I think they kind of have to.  Babyboomers are getting older.  We’re starting to see age‑related disabilities.  And so, really, they’re building in some amazing different types of tools for folks who have low vision or mobility issues, those common age‑related disabilities that people have.  And I just don’t think they can ignore them anymore.  And I think they’re really kind of doing some innovative things to be able to add to what they’ve always done in providing productivity software and other kinds of things, but making it more accessible for folks.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Yeah, I really love the new Voice Control settings.  I showed that to my wife the other day and she just played with it for like an hour.  The kind of stuff just doing the numbers and everything.  She was making it do everything.  Take pictures.  Open up apps, go through all the different stuff. 

And it’s really good.  Even if you open up Safari and you go up to the search bar.  Then you just say what you want and it automatically types it in there.  You don’t have to even do anything else.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Right.  It’s really intuitive.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It really is.  It really is.  And super easy to use.  It doesn’t take hardly any training at all to figure it all out.   

>> BRIAN NORTON:  I just came across the other day a complete list of Voice Control commands.  And I thought ‑‑ I was starting to look through those.  I hadn’t even found half of what it could do.  And so I’m super excited about that. 

And, really, again, being in the field that we’re in, as we work with folks with disabilities, we’re promoting independence and we’re helping them be more independent at home, school, work, play, all those different places, I mean, I think these days everybody’s got a smartphone or a lot of folks have smartphones. 

And just the accessibility that they can offer folks to be able to then more easily navigate them and use them is just phenomenal.  And so I have an iPad for work.  But if I didn’t, I would love one for Christmas.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Hint, hint.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Hint, hint, that’s right, right.

[Music.]

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  So smart homes are really something that’s not just making our house more accessible, they’re also just pretty darn cool.  And not really as expensive as they kind of used to be.  So I’m going to spend just a little bit of time just talking about some of the new things that are in a smart home, some of the prices that are coming up. 

But, Nikol, you found something that I really, really want.

NIKOL PRIETO:  I agree.  So now your guests have come.  They made a huge mess.  They left.  And now you’re left to clean up.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Your family must be like my family.

NIKOL PRIETO:  I’m telling you.  They’re all gone and you look around and what you’re left with is just a mess.  And my least favorite task is mopping.  I find that to be the most tedious task of all.  And iRobot now has a robotic mop.  Super, super cool.  They’re ranged in the price of 2 to 500.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Worth it.

NIKOL PRIETO:  But if you think of all the times that you are not going to have to mop. 

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  $500 mop.

>> NIKOL PRIETO:  $500 mop.  But you can just set it and go.  It sounds like it’s worth ‑‑

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s going to cost me.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  $500, I’ll be there.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  You have to be there as long as that mop would have been on.

NIKOL PRIETO:  That’s right.  That’s right.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  All right.

NIKOL PRIETO:  So it’s super cool.  It’s got a precision jet spray.  And that spray will loosen all the dirt and the sticky messes.  And it’s intelligent and doesn’t spray your furniture, your rugs, your walls.  And then it uses like electrostatic force to sweep and wicking fiber pads to mop.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Like luke Skywalker.

NIKOL PRIETO:  Yes, very high tech stuff.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Feel the force in your kitchen floor.

[Laughter]

>> BRIAN NORTON:  How much water ‑‑ I just thought of how much wood could a wood chuck chuck, but that’s not what I was going to ask.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  That’s the next question, Brian.  What’s your favorite holiday tongue twister?

>> BRIAN NORTON:  That’s right.

[Laughter]

How much water can it actually hold?  Like, I assume you want a lot of water.

NIKOL PRIETO:  I would imagine you would have to refill that tank for that.  And you’ll very to change your mopping pads.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  I’m sure it can tell the difference between tile and wood floor and carpet.

NIKOL PRIETO:  It does, yep.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  You’re paying $500 for a mop, you can’t afford that much of a kitchen.

Got a point there.  True.  Very true.

NIKOL PRIETO:  But super cool.  I want one.

>> WADE WINGLER:  I definitely do, too.  That’s my least favorite part.

So I’m excited about a lot of stuff Amazon does in general.  You know, as I think about the fact Amazon used to be a company that sold ‑‑ they sold books; right?  And they have just grown into a company that sells everything and are taking the world by storm and changing culture and everything else. 

You know, I saw an article on CNET they announced what their holiday pricing is going to be even in advance.  So starting on Friday, November 22nd, which has already happened by the time this show is released, these prices should still be in effect, they’re selling their Fire HD tablets, the cheapest one is $30.

>> Wow.

>> WADE WINGLER:  It’s 29.99. 

>> Whoa.

>> WADE WINGLER:  The 7‑inch Kids Edition, which is the one that my kids have and use all the time, is only 60 bucks and it’s normally $100.  So it’s $40 off of that thing.  They’re selling the Kindle Paper White, which I have one of those and love to read books, it’s $45 off.  So it’s $85. 

They’ve just got a ton of deals.  The Fire sticks are going to be as low as $20.  They have some Ring indoor camera packs for $100.  That’s normally like 150. 

And, Brian, I know you will love this.  Amazon Smart Plugs are going to be $5. 

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Whoa!

>> WADE WINGLER:  And if you’re like me, you’ve got all kind of lamps and fans and things in your house plugged in.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  That’s a significant savings.

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s $20 off.  It’s normally 25. And it’s going to be down to $5. 

And I’ll tell you something I want ‑‑ and I wish my wife would listen to this show ‑‑ they have the Echo Dot.  They have the clock on it?  It’s just a little dot with a little clock.  They’re going to be $25 off.  They’re $35.  So normally they’re a whole lot. 

And even the more fancy thing, the Echo Show, the second generation one with the big screen is going to be down to $150, and it’s normally like 220 or 230 or something.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Wow.

>> So Amazon’s going to have a ton of good deals for the holidays.  We sort of expected that.  But if you’re looking at buying any of the tablets or the readers or the echo devices, you really are going to get some great deals.  And that all kicks off on November 22nd and runs, I don’t know, probably through the holidays.  As Amazon is, they won’t run out of supplies.  They make a bazillion of those things.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Right, right.  I just love the Amazon U‑Verse or Universe, if you will.

>> Ecosystem.

>> BRIAN NORTON:  Ecosystem.  There you go. 

So we’ve been doing a lot with smart home technology here with the INDATA Project here at Easterseals Crossroads.  And, I mean, it’s remarkable what you can control ‑‑ voice control now.  And not only in your environment when you’re there, but when you’re not there. 

And so just through using maybe it’s an Amazon Fire tablet, maybe it’s your phone., , Maybe it’s an iPad, whatever you have, or from your computer, you can turn things on and off.  You can do all sorts of things and control things remotely. 

And I think of real use ‑‑ real life use cases for folks would be health and safety, letting people in and out your house through the use of a smart camera. 

Also then being able to communicate instantly with other folks, whether that’s with an Echo Show device that has a screen and you’re having video‑to‑video calls or you’re just using a regular Echo Dot to make a phone call for you.  You can make calls doing those kinds of things if there’s an emergency or you need to get ahold of someone, you can do that kind of thing. 

It’s really kind of made this whole ability for folks to be able to control things a lot less expensive.  It’s this DIY kind of world out there, the do it yourself type of thing.  And I think there’s a lot to it for folks with disabilities and being able to be more independent in their home, at their work and other kinds of places just by using these smart devices that talk to each other.   

[Music.]

>> JOSH ANDERSON:  Folks, thank you so much for joining us for Part 1 of our Holiday Gift Giving Guide.  We will return next week with some more great gifts and some wonderful witty banter.  We appreciate you listening.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.  And we can’t wait to have you back here next week.

>> Do you have a question about assistive technology?  Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update?  If you do, call our Listener Line at 317‑721‑7124.  Shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATA Project or check us out on Facebook. 

Are you looking for a transcript or show notes?  Head on over to our website at www.eastersealstech.com.

Assistive Technology Update is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel.  For more shows like this, plus so much more, head over to accessibilitychannel.com. 

The views expressed by our guests are not necessarily that of this host or the INDATA Project.  This has been your Assistive Technology Update.  I’m Josh Anderson with the INDATA Project at Easterseals Crossroads in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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