Comcasts new remote control lets you channel surf with your eyes

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Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 2:07 See it Post a comment Abt Electronics Tags Comcast’s Xfinity X1 eye control is a web-based remote that pairs with eye gaze systems. Comcast My eyes follow a little cartoon cow from the top left to the bottom right of a Microsoft Surface screen. There’s a reason I’m staring so intensely — and it’s not because it’s adorable. Both of my pupils are dilated by the act, but in less than five seconds they will be paired with a new virtual remote control system, the Comcast Xfinity X1 eye control. After this calibration ends, I can now access the virtual keyboard on the Microsoft Surface. By staring at specific buttons on this virtual keyboard in my internet browser, I can flip through different channels on the connected TV behind the computer. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, on Monday released this new virtual keyboard, compatible with laptops and computers, to help you navigate your TV screen with the power of your gaze.This virtual keyboard is the latest example of how companies are working to make their products and services accessible to the disability community. For instance, at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple announced Voice Control, an accessibility feature that allows users with motor limitations to browse their iOS devices by simply speaking directions. Similarly, Google at its annual I/O conference in May announced a Live Caption feature that transcribes videos and audio in real time, meant to benefit deaf users. Comcast’s customizable virtual keyboard is accessed via the URL Xfin.tv/access, and it will be available to people with both the existing Comcast Xfinity platform and third-party assistive eye-tracking technology from companies such as Tobi. Customers can use the technology to not only change the channel, but also launch the TV guide, search for content or record a movie. While the keyboard is available to anyone with the Xfinity X1 cable TV platform and a browser, the technology is intended to benefit people who cannot use their hands well enough to handle a remote control, including people with ALS or spinal cord injuries — or for those who just need to use a voice-controlled device.During my trial of the Xfinity X1 eye control, Comcast repeatedly referenced how the product could assist those with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that gets worse with time and causes people to lose control of their muscle movement. There are more than 30,000 Americans and 450,000 in total worldwide with the condition, according to the ALS Therapy Institute. “Disability isn’t a one-size fits all … We have to be able to spend that time with the customer and understand what they’re trying to accomplish,” said Tom Wlodkowski, who heads up the accessibility team at Comcast. “And then assess what equipment, what services we have that can line up with their needs … to deliver the experience they’re looking for.”Jimmy Curran, who has spinal muscular atrophy, was one of the first to receive the new X1 eye control system. Philadelphia resident Jimmy Curran, who has spinal muscular atrophy, was one of the first to receive the new X1 eye control system. Comcast A keyboard layered with optionsThe Xfinity X1 eye control system does require some discipline. If you aren’t used to the technology, a distracted gaze could mean clicking on the wrong TV channel.Fortunately, the keyboard is customizable, which means there are options for using your eyes. Instead of using the dwelling feature to select keys based on the length of your gaze, you can opt to blink to make a selection. You can also adjust how long you want to gaze or how much you want to blink for the keyboard to select optionsWlodkowski, who has two decades’ worth of creating tech for people with disabilities, says the company’s long-term vision with the platform isn’t just about making watching TV easier, but using its X1 platform, available in 39 states, to operate a whole smart home. “X1 is the centerpiece of what we call the operating system of the home … You can manage your home network,” said Wlodkowski. “You can arm, disarm your security system. Our job is to make sure this is as inclusive as possible.”For Comcast, accessibility has long been part of the culture. In October 2013, it opened its first dedicated center for customers with disabilities. Today, the center houses about 90 agents who handle more than 20,000 monthly interactions through calls and email, according to Wlodkwosi. Those with legacy platforms older than the Xfinity X1 can also acquire the service by calling the company’s disability customer center.”It’s less about the business opportunity … You are already paying for a service, let’s give you the most out of it,” said Wlodkowski.Correction, 7:43 a.m. PT: This story initially misspelled the name of Comcast’s accessibility head. His name is Tom Wlodkowski. Comcast Microsoft Applelast_img read more

Savar road crash kills 2

first_imgTwo people were killed and three others inured in a road accident in Pakija area on Dhaka-Aricha highway on Saturday midnight, reports news agency UNB.The identities of the deceased could not be known immediately.Police and witnesses said the accident took place when a Dhaka-bound sand-laden truck hit a rickshaw and overturned as its driver lost control over the steering while giving side to a human hauler around 12:00 am, leaving two rickshaw passengers dead on the spot and three others injured.The injured were admitted to different local clinics.Driver and helper of the truck, however, managed to flee the spot.A case was filed.last_img read more

Hitlers phone sold for 243000

first_imgThis undated image obtained from Alexander Historical Auctions shows a phone belonging to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler which will be auctioned by Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City, Maryland, on 19 February, 2017. Photo: AFPAdolf Hitler’s personal telephone, which the Fuehrer used to dictate many of his deadly World War II commands, sold at auction on Sunday for $243,000, the US house selling it announced.Originally a black Bakelite phone, later painted crimson and engraved with Hitler’s name, the relic was found in the Nazi leader’s Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime’s defeat.The auction house Alexander Historical Auctions, which did not reveal the winning bidder’s identity, had estimated its worth between $200,000 and $300,000. The starting bid was set at $100,000.The Maryland company auctioned off more than a thousand items including the phone and a porcelain sculpture of an Alsatian dog for $24,300.Both winners bid by telephone.More than 70 years old, the Siemens rotary telephone is embossed with a swastika and the eagle symbolic of the Third Reich.Alexander House dubbed the phone—which Hitler received from the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany’s armed forces—as “arguably the most destructive ‘weapon’ of all time, which sent millions to their deaths.”It said Hitler used it to give most of his orders during the last two years of World War II.Russian officers gave the device to British Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner during a tour of the bunker shortly after Germany’s surrender.Rayner’s son, who inherited the phone, put it up for sale, its paint now peeling to reveal the original synthetic black resin surface.Andreas Kornfeld of Alexander House told AFP its estimates were based on a number of factors, including “rarity and uniqueness.”“It would be impossible to find a more impactful relic than the primary tool used by the most evil man in history,” the auction house said in a statement. “This was not a staid office telephone.”“This was Hitler’s mobile device of destruction.”last_img read more

DRI seizes 15 kg foreignorigin gold in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized around 15 kg of foreign origin gold valued at Rs 4.72 crore from the Barasat area near here. Inputs suggested that the gold, smuggled from Bangladesh into the country from North 24 Parganas district, was being ferried in a vehicle towards Kolkata for further delivery, a statement issued today by the DRI said. One person has been arrested and a Bolero vehicle, in which the gold was being carried, has been seized on Wednesday, it said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights The seized gold biscuits weighing 15 kg had foreign markings ‘Al Etihad’ and ‘Suisse’, the probe agency said. In the current financial year so far, in the region spread over West Bengal and the north eastern states, the DRI has seized over 105 kg of gold and gold jewellery valued at close to Rs 31 crore in the market, smuggled from Bangladesh, Myanmar and even Bhutan. In the financial year 2017-2018, the DRI had seized close to 430 kg of gold and gold jewellery in the east and north east region collectively valued at more than Rs 100 crore.last_img read more

Tensorflow 19 now officially supports Raspberry Pi bringing machine learning to DIY

first_imgThe Raspberry Pi board developers can now make use of the latest TensorFlow 1.9 features to build their board projects. Most developers use Raspberry Pi for shaping their innovative DIY projects. The Pi also acts as a pathway to introduce people to programming with an added benefit of coding in Python. The main objective of blending TensorFlow with the Raspberry Pi board is to let people explore the capabilities of machine learning on cost-effective and flexible devices. Eben Upton, the founder of the Raspberry Pi project, says, “It is vital that a modern computing education covers both fundamentals and forward-looking topics. With this in mind, we’re very excited to be working with Google to bring TensorFlow machine learning to the Raspberry Pi platform. We’re looking forward to seeing what fun applications kids (of all ages) create with it.” By being able to use TensorFlow features, existing users, as well as new users, can try their hand on live machine learning projects. Here are few real-life examples of Tensorflow on Raspberry Pi: DonkeyCar platform DonkeyCar, a platform to build DIY Robocars, uses TensorFlow and the Raspberry Pi to create self-driving toy cars. Object Recognition Robot The Tensorflow framework is useful for recognizing objects. This robot uses a library, a camera, and a Raspberry Pi, using which one can detect up to 20,000 different objects. Waste sorting robot This robot is capable of sorting every piece of garbage with the same precision as a human. This robot is able to recognize at least four types of waste. To identify the category to which it belongs, the system uses TensorFlow and OpenCV. One can easily install Tensorflow from the pre-built binaries using Python pip package system from the pre-built binaries. One can also install it by simply running these commands on the Raspbian 9 (stretch) terminal: sudo apt install libatlas-base-devpip3 install tensorflow Read more about this project on GitHub page Read Next 5 DIY IoT projects you can build under $50 Build your first Raspberry Pi project How to mine bitcoin with your Raspberry Pilast_img read more