Apple-Amazon Might Revolutionize AAC

Apple-Amazon Might Revolutionize AAC


Amazon has sent an email to media outlets inviting them to an event on September 6 in Santa Monica, Calif. Details on the event are slim so far, but we have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Ricardo Bilton , VentureBeat 

The September 6, 2012 press event being held by Amazon has largely been overlooked.  Apple’s expected announcement(s) on September 12 are the reason.  The truth is both days are likely to be groundbreaking.

If Apple releases the iPad Mini (around 7 inches) and iPhone 5 with iOS 6, then the already hot touch technology market sizzles.   My prediction is those who are using the larger 9.7 inch iPad for general education will be charmed.  Those who use it as an Augmentative Alternative Communication device will be inspired.   The latter group will discover true mobile communications, which will expand possibilities of inclusion for every aspect of life.

The hope provided by the iPad Mini will be significant (even if delayed until October).  What could be even more significant might be the news from the Amazon event in Los Angeles.  There is a very real possibility the entry level Kindle could be priced at ‘free’, while the Kindle Fire could drop to 79 dollars.   I am allowing myself to join in what may be unwise speculation,  but imagine a family facing the challenges of disability able to purchase a quality device like the Kindle Fire for under 100 dollars.

Both September 6 and September 12 should be watched with great anticipation by the disability community.   What happens on these two days could revolutionize tablet use for this population in three if not four areas – communication, mobility, inclusion and access.

  1. Communication:  We seem stuck in the paradigm of 10 inch tablets.   While this size is useful for stationary communication, they become problematic when mobile.  The smaller footprint of the iPad Mini or Kindle Fire will break down barriers for communication use.
  2. Mobility:  True inclusion must move beyond the classroom, and for this to occur mobility is needed.   We developed Quick Talk AAC for mobility.   We imagined families in real life, moving from place to place.  This requires a different setup than when stationary.   The 7-8 inch iPad Mini or under 100 dollar Kindle Fire (also 7 inches) equipped with Quick Talk AAC could unleash unheard of mobile communications for thousands.
  3. Access:  Touch Technology machines provide zero hope for those who cannot afford them.   If Amazon lowers the Kindle Fire below 100 dollars, this may be the most significant event for education and disabilities since this tablet revolution began.

Note:  I have believed in the 7 inch tablet size for some time.  You can read more of my thoughts in the post called, “The Paperback of Tablets“.

About Russ Ewell

Since 1994 I have been devoted to the research and application of innovative technology solutions to education. My passion for these pursuits has been driven by my experience as a parent of children with special needs. During the economic technological growth explosion of the 1990's I was lived and worked in Silicon Valley, and was fortunate enough to find a group of people with similar interests and passions. As a result I was able to launch a non-profit called Hope Technology Group whose mission became advancing the use of technology in education. We eventually launched Hope Technology School, which has used technology to build a fascinating and effective educational program that practices full inclusion. Around the same time, I was fortunate enough to develop and build an awarding winning program called E-Soccer with the help of great friends and excellent coaches. These endeavors have left me with a continuing hunger to learn more about the possibilites of education, technology, and inclusion.

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