Android Tablets As Assistive Technology Aids.
a few years ago, the possibility of owning a portable electronic
augmentive communication device was simply beyond the reach of many
people. These devices often cost thousands of pounds and required
people to rely on the charity of family, friends and fundraisers to pay
for the devices. Even today augmentive communication devices are
incredibly expensive, as are other portable assistive technology aids
such as portable electronic document readers for blind and
partially sighted people.
quiet revolution has been occuring. Successful marketing of an idea
that owning a touch-screen tablet buys you into a certain level of
coolness that owning a (probably much more practical) laptop doesn't
has resulted in everyone wanting a tablet device. Manufacturers
around the world have been cashing in on that demand and as a result
the market is flooded with portable electronic touch-screen devices,
wildly varying in price but typically based on the ARM processor.
This has a
potentally huge benefit for technologically savvy people who want to
create custom and relatively low cost portable assistive technology
aids. If you have an idea of how a tablet device could become a useful
aid then there's probably a low or no cost way of realising that idea.
I'm not going to
cover IOS here. Where possible I'm also going to avoid apps that cost
more than a couple of quid or so. I'm really looking at Open Source,
community led developments that encourage cutting edge thinking that
ultimately lead to accessible solutions available to everyone.
1. What to do if
you've got a brilliant idea about how you could convert a cheap Android
tablet into an assistive technology aid for someone.
First, learn how to program!
You can use RFO BASIC
to write progams directly on an Android device, but you'll probably
find it easier to program on a PC. Alternatively you can code
Android Emulator available in the Android SDK. All free - the only cost is your time spent learning.
Install Android Emulator on PC.
Useful tips from http://rfobasic.freeforums.org/post3691.html#p3691
Step 0. Install Java SE Development Kit (JDK)
Download and run installer from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/ ... 32154.html
Step 1. Install Eclipse IDE
Download "Eclipse Classic" version (recommended) from http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/
Step 2. Download Android SDK
Go to http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html : download then run SDK installer and follow all instructions
After installation, in the Android
SDK Manager, uncheck the latest proposed package (i.e. Android 4.0.3
API 15) and instead check Android 4.0 API 14, then click install all
packages > Install
Make a note of the full path of the folder where SDK was installed
Step 3. Install Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin for Eclipse
Follow the instructions at http://developer.android.com/sdk/instal ... g-adt.html
For RFO BASIC follow these steps:
Important - you will need to download this file - Source Code for
Building an Application - and make a note where you unzipped it.
Window->Android SDK manager. Make sure that you have installed the "SDK Platform" for Android 4.0
Give the emulator a name (for example: em4.0)
Select a target (Andorid 4.0....)
Give the SDCARD some size (1GB)
In the hardware section, select NEW->SD Card Support
Click on "Create AVD"
Go back to Window->AVD Manager
Select the newly created emulator.
Wait for it to start
Once the emulator has fully started, unlock the screen
Back in Eclipse, in the Package Explorer on the left side
Right Click on Basic
Select Run As->Android Application
Wait for BASIC! to load into the emulator
You can download the RFO App-Builder from http://rfobasic.freeforums.org/rfo-basic-app-builder-t695.html
Or just code in Eclipse http://developer.android.com/training/basics/firstapp/index.html
Aug 31 2012