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Apple exploring advanced system for educating students with disabilities

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Apple has shown interest in new technology that would make it possible for content to be delivered to multiple users with unique disabilities, dynamically catering to each of their specific needs in a setting like a classroom.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week revealed a new patent application from Apple entitled "External Content Transformation." Discovered by AppleInsider, the document describes a method for disseminating content from a host computer in a format tailored to accommodate a user's disability, identified from their client machine.

For example, Apple could dynamically distribute content tailored for relatively simple needs, like larger font sizes or screen sizes. In more advanced examples, content could be re-purposed as synthesized speech in a variety of languages, or in Braille.

In the patent application, Apple notes that computers are now very capable of accommodating the disabilities of individual users, with technologies like screen reading software and electronic Braille devices making it possible for visually impaired users to access a device.

But the company also realizes that these technologies only account for the disabilities and preferences of a single user at a time. In addition, technology designed for disabled users can be taxing on a local system, requiring the content to be transformed on the client machine according to a user's needs and preferences.

Apple's solution would have a host device that would have content in a number of formats that could accommodate specific disabilities of users, or user preferences. Multiple users would be able to experience content at the same time, each according to their own needs.



"A host device can share content with many users, without needing to do significant processing on the host device to accommodate users' needs and preferences," the application reads.

In Apple's example, a person teaching a class would control a host device, and information would be disseminated out to students' machines in a format that would make it possible for them to receive the lesson. In addition to new formats tailored for specific disabilities, the technology would also be able to comply with custom preferences set by the student, such as certain font styles, spacing, or natural languages.

Client devices that could communicate with the host machine include computers, mobile devices like an iPhone or iPad, and Braille output devices, to name a few. A shared conversion engine among the host and client machines would expedite the process of reformatting or re-purposing the content, making it fast and efficient.



The proposed invention made public this week by the USPTO was first filed by Apple in August of 2009. It is credited to Christopher B. Fleizach.

The disclosure also comes as Apple has touted the ability of its iPad to reach out to disabled users who might struggle with traditional computers. The video, embedded below, was first shown off at Wednesday's iPad 2 unveiling.



The iPad was shown in use at the Center for Communication Enhancement at Children's Hospital Boston, where it has been used to assist children with autism. The video also highlighted how the iPad has been put to use in education, allowing students to interact with content in a new and unique way.
post #2 of 16
1st post w00t
post #3 of 16
On a more serious note, the iPad 2 video shown during the Keynote had very touching segments on autism. It has made an impact in autism, something Apple themselves didn't expect. On a more sad note, I wonder if I will live to see the day where 90% of kids in the world use something like iPad or whatever comes next. I am 33, so, well, I guess they have about 50 years to cure world poverty. If people didn't keep having babies that could help!!!
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

On a more serious note, the iPad 2 video shown during the Keynote had very touching segments on autism. It has made an impact in autism, something Apple themselves didn't expect. On a more sad note, I wonder if I will live to see the day where 90% of kids in the world use something like iPad or whatever comes next. I am 33, so, well, I guess they have about 50 years to cure world poverty. If people didn't keep having babies that could help!!!

If we stick to the spec of iPad 1, and apple sell it at cost, we could right at this moment, easily finance 1 iPad for each children on earth with what US government pay for military expense in 1 single year.

This is with assumption of 2 billion children on earth, and US military budget of more than 600 billion in 2010.

With the money spent on Iraq war, US government could also finance 1 ipad for each children, and maybe even allow apple to make a small profit.
post #5 of 16
I have autism. The 27" iMac i7 really helps too! Have an iPad but partner nabbed it for work so I hardly ever get my fingers on it.

Very easy for Apple products to become "special interest," addictive and immersive.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

If we stick to the spec of iPad 1, and apple sell it at cost, we could right at this moment, easily finance 1 iPad for each children on earth with what US government pay for military expense in 1 single year.

This is with assumption of 2 billion children on earth, and US military budget of more than 600 billion in 2010.

With the money spent on Iraq war, US government could also finance 1 ipad for each children, and maybe even allow apple to make a small profit.

The government would ALLOW apple to make a small profit? How kind of you... I thought Apple was a charity and the shareholders understood this. This sort of thinking is absolutely toxic.

Also... so if we got rid of the military, you think we should use that money on iPads for every child in the world instead of say... Job training for their parents? Mosquito nets to prevent malaria?

Next thing you know... people will start calling for a union at Noodles Restaurants because "they like tell you how to cook the food and it's like a dictatorship and stuff"
post #7 of 16
My son has Autism and absolutely loves the iPad. He was already very good on the iMac but is only on it now when he wants to look at iPhoto. I have noticed a significant improvement in his trouble solving and eye hand co-ordination skills when using the games on the iPad. It is terrific for using PEC (Picture Exchange Communication). The standard way to do it was a binder of pictures with velcro on the back and you would put together pictures to create a sentence. I saw a PECs app that is a starting point for it but, the only see them getting better.

24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

Reply

24" iMac, 2 MB Pros, iPad Version 1, 2 x (iPhone 4s), Apple TV 3, a Shuffle and a couple of iTouches somewhere in the house. Spot on wall reserved for an Apple TV of some description. Oh yeah..and...

Reply
post #8 of 16
I want one of these for my disability
http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-...on-of-n,19084/

I will then beable to play a guitar.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's solution would have a host device that would have content in a number of formats that could accommodate specific disabilities of users, or user preferences. Multiple users would be able to experience content at the same time, each according to their own needs.

An interesting idea because it would allow some disabled students to join in classes that they previously could not participate in. I hope Apple follows through on this concept.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobringer View Post

The government would ALLOW apple to make a small profit? How kind of you... I thought Apple was a charity and the shareholders understood this. This sort of thinking is absolutely toxic.

Also... so if we got rid of the military, you think we should use that money on iPads for every child in the world instead of say... Job training for their parents? Mosquito nets to prevent malaria?

Next thing you know... people will start calling for a union at Noodles Restaurants because "they like tell you how to cook the food and it's like a dictatorship and stuff"

No thanks for your disrespect.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply
post #11 of 16
This kind of technology is exactly what's needed in all schools, not just for the disabled. Not all students are visual learners (for example); some learn better auditorily, or through tactile usage (Legos, anyone?). And some of us have mild impediments, like dyslexia, that many schools do not understand.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOSbox-gamer View Post

This kind of technology is exactly what's needed in all schools, not just for the disabled. Not all students are visual learners (for example); some learn better auditorily, or through tactile usage (Legos, anyone?). And some of us have mild impediments, like dyslexia, that many schools do not understand.

I agree. A lot of the work that has gone into accessibility for computers will ultimately benefit the general public as well. There is no reason why, IMO, that this technology could not be utilized to measure the differing learning abilities of prospective students. The results then could be easily available to the teacher, who in turn, can plan for and distribute tailored teaching material as needed to individuals within a class.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

On a more serious note, the iPad 2 video shown during the Keynote had very touching segments on autism. It has made an impact in autism, something Apple themselves didn't expect. On a more sad note, I wonder if I will live to see the day where 90% of kids in the world use something like iPad or whatever comes next. I am 33, so, well, I guess they have about 50 years to cure world poverty. If people didn't keep having babies that could help!!!

Poverty in rich countries

Ironically, poverty in countries like the US, is partly because we are addicted to cheap goods coming from other countries, now especially China. This eventually lead to loss of most manufacturing jobs in the US. And, related to Apple, even high tech manufacturing is now going abroad. Sure, the ideas may be conceived and perfected in Cupertino, CA but how many manpower is involved in the "intellectual aspect of the creation" compared to hundreds of thousands in the engineering, manufacturing process. The agri-business industry rely heavily on cheap labor from Mexico and Central America.

The US has become a predominantly service economy (around 60-70%) but that is a house of cards, and from a ecosystem perspective, do not have the complexity that make it stable. We experienced this and continue to do so since the stock market and economic collapse in 2008.

What is even worse now is that even service jobs are going abroad. A significant part of the customer service staff of telecom companies, including cable like comcast, and tech companies are now staffed in countries like India, Philippines, Puerto Rico, etc. Health consultation service, education tutorials, etc. are now coming partly or exploratory studies, using long distance interaction with satellte locations in India, Philippines. Many companies find it cheaper to hire "foreigners", many of the nursing staff of hospitals and biomedical institutions come from abroad. States are filling their education staff needs also from other countries.

So, even many of the service economy that is now the backbone of the US economy is also either going abroad or are being replaced by manpower from abroad.

The concept of Laissez-faire ("free market") is a mantra in economics does not really work in reality because there is no reciprocal trade -- more goods are imported to the US, while the source of imports like China, Japan, Korea and almost any other country do not buy as much goods from the US. One of the unusual goods sold by the US and sought by many countries are weapons of war. Even here though, the US has increasing competition, not only from Europe, but countries like Russia, China.

Supporting the local economy, not just in the US, but within one's community, would help, but how many of us would be willing to pay the local tax for such purchases?

Poverty in developing countries

The noble and idealistic effort to cure world poverty has failed fpr a number of reasons. Sure hunger and poverty are correlated with unchecked population growth. In the 1960s, Western countries sent surplus agricultural products (a part of the Agricultural subsidy to shore up prices of American agri-business). Many of the subsidy of course went to multi-nationals (e.g., Archer-Daniels) rather than American farmers. Those massive US did not help much because the agricultural products sent to other countries (dried milk, Bulgur rice, yellow corn mill. Bulgur rice, etc.) were not part of the local diet. so they were fed to animals, if not appropriated by local officials.

There is also the green revolution inititative, sponsored by organizations like Ford Foundation. It worked partly and improved food production of rice, corn, wheat, potato. in many countries. There is just one catch, the technology used was based mainly on Western Agricultural practices -- hybrid seedling, mechanized farming, irrigation, fertilizer bought from Agro=business and funded from banks. More small farmers lost their farms from this Western based agricultural practice, enriched the local agric-business entrepeneur and banks.

Helping mitigate poverty in other countries from our own efforts


The increasing rise in oil prices is felt by almost every American, and is threathening the recovery of the US and Western economy. The impact however is even greater in poorer countries because most do not even local oil resources.

The impact of increased oil price is even more significant in developing countries. Transportation to and from work may consume as much as 10-20% of the average workers (this is using public transports, not private cars). The increase in cost of utilities (gas, electric) are also quite significant, and so with most food, and other necessities.

Almost 25% of world oil are consumed by Americans, most of these from car transportation. Western Europe also is significant but because oil is highly taxed in most European countries (almost the equivalent to $16 per gallon), oil and energy consumption in Europe is much much less.

During the dramatic oil price increases around 2007-2008 coupled with the recession, caused dramtic reduction world of oil consumption. It eventually helped decrease oil prices back down to around $2 per gallon in the US). This was due mainly from a few percentage reduction of gas usage by Americans when the price of oil was quite high. That the economy tanked at the time, also helped further decrease oil prices, all the way down to about $2 per gallon. This reduction in the cost of oil has even greater impact on people in poor countries.

Individually therefore, Americans can help alleviate (not cure) impoverishment in poorer countries, by the simple act of using less oil. From our own individual initiatives, we can extend this further by using public transport and supporting policies that will promote public transport. Energy consumption can be reduced also by energy conservation practices (insulation, weatherization) to reduce heat consumption during during Winter and air conditioning during Summer. Locally, there are initiatives that promote solar heating and use of Wind energy and all sorts of energy conservation and local source of energy.

All these will help dependenxe on foreign oil. Individually and collectively, just by this simple acts, we can do more in helping alleviate poverty in poor countries indirectly by reducing or help prevent increase in oil and energy costs in poorer countries.

And less dependence on foreign oil can also far reacching impact on US foreign policy.


CGC
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by polar315 View Post

My son has Autism and absolutely loves the iPad. He was already very good on the iMac but is only on it now when he wants to look at iPhoto. I have noticed a significant improvement in his trouble solving and eye hand co-ordination skills when using the games on the iPad. It is terrific for using PEC (Picture Exchange Communication). The standard way to do it was a binder of pictures with velcro on the back and you would put together pictures to create a sentence. I saw a PECs app that is a starting point for it but, the only see them getting better.

My sister works with people with autistic disorders and has worked the iPad into her practice. She has had good success with the iPad improving her clients' communication and problem solving abilities.

I really appreciate stories like this since I, myself, have Asperger's Syndrome.
post #15 of 16
.

Should apply to other various aspect of iPad

But especially regarding this Topic

.

Are the 'keyboards' in iPad 'size adjustable' ?

.

Believe the 'Typing Keyboard' is 'full size'

But what I saw yesterday of the 'Piano Keyboard' - looked way too small, yes ?

Well, can we 'squeeze/expand' to make different sizes, for different size fingers and hands ?

Should make a HUGE difference when applied to THIS Topic, yes ?

But also helpful for 'normal' little kids learning to type or play piano

And they 'expand it' as they grow, dig ?

(or thick fingered ol' guys like me could more easily 'tickle the ivories')

etc etc - many possible applications of this idea, yes ?

Thanks

.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

If we stick to the spec of iPad 1, and apple sell it at cost, we could right at this moment, easily finance 1 iPad for each children on earth with what US government pay for military expense in 1 single year.

This is with assumption of 2 billion children on earth, and US military budget of more than 600 billion in 2010.

With the money spent on Iraq war, US government could also finance 1 ipad for each children, and maybe even allow apple to make a small profit.

The only thing with the iPad is that it is very high tech that may not be practical to give away to people in less well off countries. For example, it is dependent on high tech batteries that needed to be re-charged. Elecrticity is not always available in many parts of the world. And, even if available, it is quite expensive.

There are actually some more effective projects that have been initiated to provide computers to children in les well off countries.

One was conceived by a former staff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), that was initially conceived to run using a version of an oper-source OS (not sure if it was LInux or some other script). Both Apple and Microsoft actually offered a simplified version of their respective opertating systems, for free. But, the younger more open-source oriented members in the group preferred an open source software. The beauty of the computer was that it was developed, particularly for places where electricty is not available. I think it either uses solar energy, or the child has to crank something to recharge the battery. I think it was also waterproof or something. The bottom line was that it was very sturdy. And it worked beautifully from actual field testing. Like the Apple, it did not have any manual, and language did not seem to have been an issue, for non-speaking children from other parts of the world to learn on their own how to us the computer.
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It was supposed to cost $100 at subsidized price. This was very cheap that would be suitable even in the US. The $100 was based on the assumption, that some larger countries, like Brazil would buy so many millions. It hit a snag because xountries, like Brazil, cannot co mmit fo pay for the quantities for the $100 per computer to be mqnufactured, (at cost????)


With this snag. not sure what exactly happened, but the Operating system was changed to a light Windows OS. To help subsidize the project, Americans would buy two for $200, one would be for an American student, while the otehr one would go to a child to a designated country.

The other project was developed by an Indian groupt\\t\\ in collaboration with an institution in Cambridge, UK. This was even cheaper (under $100).

I am not sure about the status of both projects. Others in India are also developing alternative strategies.

CGC
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