Sunday, May 8, 2016

Smartphone as an electronics multi-tool

I like my Leatherman multi-tool because it has so many useful mechanical tools in one small package.  These tools including a pair  of needle nose pliers, a knife, a saw, a file couple of screwdrivers, and other helpful tools. 
Leatherman Multi-Tool

With my visual impairment, I am using a bunch electronics widgets to help me with many daily tasks.  Now that I have a smartphone, I could probably consolidate many functions provided by those widgets into one device.   My smartphone already came with some functions that could replace couple of my electronics devices. and I added few more apps to round out my electronics multi-tool collection. 

Camera: my smartphone came with a 5MP autofocus back camer and a 2MP front camera.  The camera app is very easy to use.  All the buttons are labeled.  This app even  let me take a photo with voice command, just say Cheese.  The main draw back of this camera is lack of optical zoom.  Needless to say, it has video recording function too.

Calculator: what can I say about the calculator app?  Oh, yes, it is a talking calculator.  I don't use my large digit calculator anymore.
Large Digit Calculator

Voice Recorder:  the voice recorder app replaces my portable digital voice recorder.  This simple voice recorder only has 3 buttons (record, pause, stop) and they are all labeled.   One big advantage of the portable voice recorder is its small size and its simple operation.
Digital Voice Recorder

FM Radio: I hardly listen to radio anymore, but it is nice to know it is there if I want it.  I have to use a pair of ear buds in order to receive the radio signal because the ear buds wire acts as an antenna.

MP3 Player:  with the MP3 app, I no longer need a separate MP3.  I player.  I am glad to get rid of this inaccessible device.
MP3 Player

Digital Book Player:  one of the best app is the BARD Mobile app.  I no longer need to carry the bulky BARD digital book player on my long car ride.  However, I still like to use the bulky BARD player at home because it has much better sound quality.
BARD Digital Book Player

Magnifier:  I really want my smartphone to act as a magnifier or a CCTV but I haven't found a good app as a replacement.  Few of those magnifier apps had unlabeled buttons thus making them useless with Talkback.  In general, I found those magnifier apps have  inadequate magnification and low image quality to be  helpful for my need.  I guess I have to keep my portable CCTV for now.
Hand Held Magnifier 5X
As you can see from above, the smartphone is indeed can be used as an electronics multi-tool.  I am sure I will find more useful apps down the road.

1 comment:

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