Whether you are an Apple, Android, Windows, or Blackberry phone user you have probably heard of Siri, the Apple assistant that can perform tasks with the push of a button and you giving verbal instructions. Nuance Communications, the makers of Dragon Naturally Speaking, have a similar solution to make tasks done with your phone easier, safer, and more efficient.
The latest app in the Dragon family is Dragon Mobile Assistant. Specifically made for the Android operating system, Dragon Mobile Assistant provides a wide range of features that may be beneficial for those in need of an assistive technology solution. Below is a listing of some basic options to include potential solutions for an individual with a disability:
Wake-up Word: This may be the one feature that sets Dragon Mobile Assistant apart from Siri, in that Dragon can be on and listening at all times, waiting for a keyword from the user. This makes a device totally hands free by waking up Dragon with the keyword and then providing verbal instructions.
Voice Notifications: Individuals with a cognitive deficiency or vision loss can benefit from having incoming calls, text messages, or emails announced.
Email and Message Dictation: For those with dexterity difficulties in the arms, hands and fingers may have a tough time using a smartphone screen to type. With the app they are able to easily dictate the message that they want to send.
Location Sharing: Those that care for an individual that has had a brain injury or someone with dementia may need to know where the individual is because of wandering. With the location sharing feature a person can ask where someone is and be notified with a map of their current location.
Alarm and Timer Setup: For some users a smartphone interface can be confusing and difficult to manipulate. Dragon allows for waking up the program and saying when the alarm or timer is to go off.
Voice Dial: For a user with upper extremity difficulty the option to wake up Dragon with a keyword and then say who to call provides independence.
The app and the features it provides are not revolutionary; the breakthrough with Dragon Mobile Assistant is that it can be setup to always be listening for a keyword, whether the device is on or in sleep mode. This makes it a very interesting assistive technology possibility for many users. Take a look at the official webpage for information and also look at the video below to get a better idea of how it works.
Dragon Mobile Assistant: http://www.dragonmobileapps.com/