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The art of the telephone and other communication devices

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Cell Phones for the Visually Impaired (Part II) 

Cell phones are good tools for increasing productivity, providing security, and enhancing lives with better communication. However, these same devices can be a little more problematic for those who are blind or visual impaired. For these people, there are truly two choices:

Find a good smartphone that comes with the software and features that make them accessible.

Find a basic phone which is simpler to feel and work if you don’t want to delve into the world of touchscreens, text to speech apps, and so on.

Smartphones with The Right Software

Smartphones now have software that will read the text on the screen.

The accessibility features of smartphones have grown drastically in recent times. Major makers now have software that more truly supports accessibility and there is no extra cost to pay.

Screen reading software can be very helpful in removing the barrier of having to read text on the screen in order to navigate on a cell phone. It’s also good for reading websites, emails, and other information brought up when using the browser.

The iPhone has VoiceOver which reads what you touch on the screen and even describes everything happening on the screen, like low battery alerts and informing you of the identity of callers. It’s simple to access by just triple-clicking on the home button.

It will describe images, read email, web pages, and more to you.

To help with composing text messages, it will read not only as you touch letters but also as you enter them, it can correct misspellings, as well as support other modes of entry like handwriting and dictation. There is even a Braille keyboard feature.

Android phones have TalkBack. This service also has a screen reader, voice commands, and lets you connect a refreshable Braille display. Users can alter the display and font size, contrast, and color. They can also utilize a zoom or magnifier function. It adds spoken, audible, and vibration feedback to the device so that seeing the screen is not required.


Cell Phones for the Visually Impaired (Part I)

Current technology has come up with cell phones for visually impaired people. These are supposed to give all types of cell-phone facilities to the blind by overcoming the obvious barriers.

Below are some technologies that can aid blind people when it comes to using mobile phones:

Screen readers

Technology like this can make life easier for the visually impaired.

This is a software product that can be very helpful for the blind, getting rid of the biggest barrier faced by them, vision. This software reads out to them the text on the screen, assisting them in operating the phone. Besides making and taking calls and reading messages, this software also lets them read websites and other information that may come up with the use of the browser.

This software is in phones like Nokia N82 and N86. These have KNFB text recognition technology with which users can take photos of items like labels, menus, etc., and then have them read aloud. Also, an iOS application with the same technology was recently launched.

Voice control

This is very useful for visually impaired as well as other folks. Voice control removes issues that come with using keypads which offers less tactile feedback. As far as regular folks are concerned, we all face situations where our hands are busy when we need to use our mobile phone.

BlueAnt provides a Bluetooth Voice Control headphone, named V1, which lets users control all mobile phone functions with voice. This works on any mobile phone that is Bluetooth enabled. With this, some of the most advanced smartphones of the current times can be used by blind and visually impaired people.

Android voice actions

Android has come up with many functionalities that can be used with voice commands.  Once set up correctly, this technology can make many Android phones, such as the touch-screen ones, usable by visually impaired and blind individuals.


Best Medical Alert Systems (Part IV) 



  • Outstanding Customer Service
  • 30-Day Battery Life on Cellular Unit
  • Automatic Fall Detection + GPS on Cellular Unit
  • Free Month of Service


ResponseNow is an Oregon business known for quality products and excellent customer service. There has been much talk about their equipment and their customer service beliefs. Since their values are quite exceptional, this company is highly recommended. One top recommendation is their cellular-based medical alert system called “Belle” due to its long battery life.




  • 1000 ft In-Home Range
  • Activity Alerts
  • Cellular or Land-line Options
  • Two Year Battery Life


Choose a bracelet or a pendant.

QMedic provides one of the few “smart” in-home medical alert systems on the current market. You can pick from a wristband or pendant and cellular or landline base station. With a good range of 1,000ft radius from the base station, it outshines most other in-home systems in this way.

Besides the in-home range, QMedic also has activity alerts to sense deviations in sleep and activity patterns. You can also pick to have alerts sent to the professional monitoring center or set up family/caregivers to be notified.



  • Affordable
  • Choose T-Mobile or AT&T for Cellular Unit
  • Free Shipping, Free Activation


Alert1 has numerous new medical alert systems to choose from today. They have a conventional basic pendant-style device, a pendant with fall detection, and a small mobile (cellular-based) emergency response button called the “Kelsi”. Alert1 has an American based emergency response center and prices are low. The one thing to know that while there is no fee for termination, if you cancel, you will forfeit your pre-paid services.

Alert1 has a no-termination fee option for Senior List customers. To get this value-add, you have to let them know you were referred by The Senior List. They will put a note in your file so you can terminate without forfeiting your pre-paid monies.



Best Medical Alert Systems (Part III) 

GreatCall Lively Mobile


  • Works on Verizon Cellular Network
  • No In-Home Range Limit
  • Waterproof
  • Fall Detection & GPS in One Unit

GreatCall makers of the award-winning, easy-to-use Jitterbug cell phones with health and safety services also has a medical alert device named the Lively Mobile.

Medical Alert systems don’t have to operate on a landline anymore.

GreatCall has three different tiers of mobile medical alert service: Basic, Preferred and Ultimate. Included in Preferred is Urgent Care which lets you speak to a live nurse or board-certified doctor, 24/7 without an appointment. Also, you can get a prescription for common medications over the phone. GreatCall Link app aid caregivers to remain informed about the safety and health of family members with GreatCall products. Ultimate has everything from Preferred and Basic plans plus automatic Fall Detection which senses falls and calls a 5Star agent ASAP plus free product replacement in case the device is ever stolen, lost, or broken.

GreatCall’s mobile GPS service is on the Verizon network which sets it apart since all other major medical alert companies are on AT&T or T-Mobile networks. If Verizon works well in your area, Lively Mobile is a good choice for you.



  • Low Costs
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Five Day Battery Life on Cellular Mobile Unit
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee


LifeStation has been serving consumers for over 40 years. Recent updates to both their customer-service group and equipment have improved the overall consumer experience dramatically. We like seeing medical alert companies go for greatness, and we are happy to see big LifeStation improvements over the past year.

LifeStation has three medical alert configurations; A land line (traditional), an in-home cellular (for those without a landline), and a mobile (cellular) for that on-the-go. Also, LifeStation has a fall detection option, which will automatically call for help if the pendant senses a fall.



Best Medical Alert Systems (Part II) 

Medical Guardian


  • Traditional & Cellular Options
  • Easy Ordering & Set-Up
  • 1300 ft In-Home Range
  • Customizable Solutions


Which medical alert system is best for you?

Medical Guardian has been another best recommendation for a long time. Feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive about their services and products. Medical Guardian provides in-home medical alert systems, a cellular option, as well as a fall detection option. Prices are low and there is no equipment to purchase. Also, no long-term contracts.

Just so you know: In 2015 Medical Guardian was selected as one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal. We believe this speaks highly about the company, the people, and the culture they are creating.


Product Highlights

  • Free spouse coverage
  • Price lock for life guarantee
  • 1300 ft in-home range
  • Add fall detection for only $5/month


LifeFone is a customer-friendly company with a winning combination of top-quality equipment, affordable costs and excellent customer service. LifeFone has an assortment of medical alert systems at-home (no landline required) and on the go for more active folks. Also, they have the lowest price for optional fall detection on the market today.



  • Voice-activated wireless mini consoles
  • 30 Days Risk-Free
  • 1300 ft In-Home Range
  • Simple pricing



GetSafe introduced their latest take on keeping individuals safe with a high-quality, well-known medical alert manufacturer. The sleek design and simple-to-install hardware are just the beginning. Select between landline or cellular option (no landline needed) with a great 1300ft in-home range. Depending on the size of the user’s residence, this may also cover areas outside surrounding the living area, the yard or mailbox.

Best of all, they are voice-activated, so if a user isn’t wearing their button, they can still get aid in the event of an emergency just by saying “call 911”. They are also water-resistant and safe to be in the shower or tub.


Best Medical Alert Systems (Part I)

A medical alert system is an important investment for any senior. Owning a medical alert system means that aid is available with a touch of a button in case of an emergency, providing seniors and their loved one’s peace of mind and reassurance. Do you know which one is best?

A medical alert system helps keep the elderly and their families at peace knowing that help is only a push of a button away.

Selecting a medical alert system is time-consuming. That’s why in the past year, over 90,000 people visited The Senior List looking for information and advice on the top medical alert systems. The information below is to assist you in cutting through the clutter and narrowing down your list, to save you time looking for useful information. The medical alerts on this list deliver the best overall value.



  • No Land-Line Required
  • FDA-Compliant
  • Waterproof Pendants & Buttons
  • High-Quality Equipment


MobileHelp’s medical alert systems are now cellular-based products. As landlines are becoming extinct, cellular is a good choice for most seniors today. MobileHelp has the MobileHelp Duo which is one of the only two-in-one systems on the market today, as well as the MobileHelp Solo (cellular pendants without the home base station unit).

Prices are affordable and there’s no long-term contract to deal with. MobileHelp not long ago released the first smartwatch and medical alert called the MobileHelp Smart.

Bay Alarm Medical


  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • 1000 ft In-Home Range
  • 30 Days Risk-Free
  • First In-Car Medical Alert


Bay Alarm Medical provides traditional in-home medical alert systems and a mobile option for those who don’t wish to be tied to a mobile base station. Bay Alarm Medical has lots of good reviews based on customer testimonials out there, and we know they provide good support.

This premiere medical alert company has been one of the top choices over the past few years. Bay Alarm Medical provides safety and peace of mind with a low monthly plan and no long-term contracts.


Using Animated Videos for Your Business

If you’re a business make use of videos as part of your marketing strategy, you will get excellent ROIs. Also, if you’re a DIYer, doing a fast how to make animated videos search can make you exhausted.

When it comes to video marketing, the numbers speak for themselves. After watching a video, over 65% of consumers are more likely to buy the product. Over 90% of video watchers on a mobile device share the video with others, and over 60% of marketing experts feel that video is the most effective conversion tool.

Regardless if it’s a free animation maker or a cartoon video maker, there are several tools to making video online for your business. Here are a few of the top tools to making animated videos for business.

How to Make Animated Videos

The procedure can be easy or hard. It all comes down to the amount of time and money you’re willing to put into the project. You can make a huge impact with a free animation maker as you can with an expensive one. If you have a good message and it connects with your potential consumers, your animated video has done what it is supposed to do.

Though, solutions which provide more choices and tools will let you make higher quality videos. You can begin with simple tools and move up as your needs grow.

Create Animated Videos for Business


PowToon is an user-friendly animated video tool that lets businesses create professional videos in mere minutes.


Animaker is a do-it-yourself tool for making video infographics that is based in the cloud. It lets users show statistics and data in a captivating way, creating an extraordinary animated story. With pre-animated assets, drag and drop functions, music and in-built data assets, and sound effects, businesses can make videos creatively and fast.


Top Animated Video Software

Online facilitators and instructional designers have long understood the real value of animated videos as one of the chief methods that could be used to boost the audience’s retention and engagement during an eLearning course. Are you interested in the top animated video software in the eLearning sector?


Make your 1st video in under five minutes! Clearly, the simplicity of use is the greatest advantage of this animated video software. As stated on their website, the eLearning sector is certainly a field where such a tool could find great use.

Character Customization
Voice-Over Narration and Lip-Syncing
Occupation-Specific and Industry Templates


Here is one of the most witty animated video software in the sector. For either Mac or Windows, this one is all about facial animation. Plenty of good features like a 3D head creation tool. CrazyTalk lets you completely alter clothing, hairstyle, and physical features.

Talking Avatars
Appearance Customization

3D Character Pipeline
Auto Motion And Auto Lip-Sync


If you want superior animated video software that’s been used by greatly acclaimed companies and organizations like Ford, Microsoft, and the FBI, then you’ve discovered your answer.

Open Architecture

Environment Creation
Advanced Lighting And Shadowing Effects
3D Characters

Toon Boom Harmony

This animated video software centers on offering the tools for captivating storytelling in eLearning. Famous businesses such as Fox, Dreamworks, and Universal can attest to how good this one works as they are all devoted clients.

Various Sketching And Drawing Functions
Production And Implementation Support

2D And 3D Designs

After Effects

After Effects is the most reliable and sophisticated solution when it comes to animated video software. Adobe’s After Effects has distinctive features including the Character Animator that make it stand out from its competitors. Need to know what the hype is all about? After Effects has a free trial.

Character Animator CC

Creative Cloud Libraries
Adobe Stock

Are Airpods Worth the Money?

Okay, Apple eliminated the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and the world went crazy. But thankfully, the company had a resolution: wireless devices called AirPods. Much to the irritation of anyone acquainted with Apple, they weren’t put into the box with iPhones. Instead, they’re offered as a premium accessory, and they are really hyped. When Apple released them at the beginning of 2018, shipping was over six weeks.

It doesn’t matter the hype, lots and lots of folks bought a pair of these things and wanted to test them to see if they were really as epic and innovative as Apple swore when it revealed them many moons ago.

Here’s the real: Apple’s wireless AirPods are around $160 which is honestly a little pricey. Read on to determine if the cost is worth the wireless listening and cool factor.

How are AirPods unlike EarPods?

Visualize if someone took regular EarPods and cut off the wires, then provided you with a snazzy little case to put them in that charges them. That’s AirPods in a nutshell.

They link to your phone via Bluetooth. When you plug both AirPods in, you’ll hear a confirmation tone that you’re connected. Crank up your fav music and you’re good to go.

Double-tap either of your AirPods to turn on Siri. Remove one AirPod from your ear, your music stops playing. All these functions and steps take mere seconds.

In case you’re pondering how does the music sounds coming out of them. the sound quality is relatively the same as the EarPods. Tests were done of both EarPods and AirPods with bass-heavy songs and smoother songs and there wasn’t any difference. The bass sounded around the same. For specific songs, though, the bass coming thru the EarPods was a little louder. It comes down to your personal preference and your budget.

Zanco Tiny T1: World’s Smallest Cell Phone

Big phones are currently all the rage. You won’t find a cell in the market that doesn’t have an edge-to-edge display, ultra-sharp screen, beefy battery, and edge-to-edge display. The Zanco Tiny T1 doesn’t possess any of those things, but it does have the title of world’s smallest cell phone, and it currently has plenty of admirers.

The Tiny T1 seems like a toy but it’s really a totally functional cell phone able to make and receive voice calls and texts. It possesses a full numerical keyboard and a very tiny OLED display with a resolution of just 64 X 32. Yep, it is really, really tiny.

As you’d probably guess, the Tiny T1 isn’t really the most powerful mobile on earth. Its little size limits its abilities, letting it function only on 2G networks. With such a little display, you won’t be doing anything besides texting and talking. With that being said, it’s still a seriously amazing accomplishment.

Zanco’s specs list also says it has “32RAM + 32ROM” which you can believe if you want to. There’s no way this phone has 32GB RAM and it’s difficult to believe it has 32GB of storage, particularly when it isn’t even a smart phone. Possibly 32MB. Difficult to say and the phone’s website doesn’t provide any information.

On the positive side, the Tiny T1 is very cheap which probably makes it a great emergency cell phone for someone who doesn’t want to carry a smartphone but still wants to have a phone with them at all times.

When powered up, it has 3 days of standby time, meaning it can handle close to 180 minutes of talk time before needing to be re-charged. How much does it cost? Less than $50.

Do you need one? No! Do you want one just because it’s incredibly cheap, odd, and will bring you some wanted or unwanted attentions? Yep.