Using a Screen Reader as a Proxy “AI Assistant”

I spent a good month experimenting with my Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone set in “eyes free” mode. Instead of staring at the mini screen to surf the Web, read email or use my other favorite apps, a screen reader narrated the information and helped me navigate the screen. Speaking in a female voice generated by the built-in Google Text-to-Speech engine, it guides you by announcing what icon or menu item is active and what actions you can take next. The…

Twiddler3: A Year Later… and new idea for AI Assistant

(I wrote this in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While saddened by the enormous suffering that everyone is coping with, I find solace in the unintended gifts the lockdown brings– time to bond with family and to rekindle creative pursuits that we often brush aside when we’re “too busy”.) My Twiddler3, once a shiny new toy, sat inside my drawer untouched since last summer. After designing an efficient keyboard layout that took advantage of pressing Multiple Buttons per Row…

TwiddleTalk alpha release

I am more comfortable with chording but my typing is still slow after one month of casual use (no surprises). I also tend to make many errors when using my ring and pinky fingers, partly because I don’t use the included strap and the Twiddler sometimes slides around as my fingers stride between chords. On a good note, I made progress towards my long-term goal. I created the basic framework of a virtual assistant / personal bot running on a…

Getting to Know the Twiddler3

I ordered my Twiddler3 last February and when UPS delivered the package on my doorstep 10 days later, I giddily unboxed it. I installed the velcro strap and began “typing” — randomly pecking the keys individually and making chords. I didn’t really care what I was typing at this point. I was more interested in finding a natural grip and angle that would allow my to type comfortably and efficiently. Two days later, I ditched the strap. Why? I want…