Talking Clocks For Visually Impaired
Moshi Alarm Clock - Assistive Technology For Visually Impaired
My Mom asked me to buy her a talking alarm clock for Christmas last year. My first thought was "Does that even exist?", and if it does "Where can I buy a talking clock?'. My Mother is visually impaired and her eyesight is rapidly deteriorating due to macular degeneration. So this was certainly a product that would help her. I just had to find it.
Then I remembered the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) had helped to provide my Grandfather with products to help him see his computer screen better. So I went to their website to see if a talking alarm clock existed. They actually had a choice of six talking clocks, but which one should I buy? There is a CNIB store where I live so I went down to take a look at them and get some advice.
Image by: Whatsittoyou
A Voice Controlled, Talking Clock
The CNIB was the perfect place for me to go. The lady who was taking care of the store has vision loss. She actually uses the products that they have available and can therefore give actual expert advice. This is how I found out about Moshi. It has large numbers that right now my Mom can see, but it has capabilities that will help her later when she is no longer able to see them.
The other talking clocks required you to touch them, to have them tell you the time. Plus you still needed to press buttons to set an alarm. These might be okay for now, but as her eye sight gets worse finding the clock might become difficult enough, never mind any little buttons on the clock.
The Moshi alarm clock was different. It is a voice controlled, talking clock. You simply say "Hello Moshi" and the clock will respond with "command please". Then if you say "time" it will tell you what time it is. You can also use simple voice commands to set the alarm, choose the alarm sound, activate a night light, find out the temperature, or even choose a sound to help get you to sleep. There is a video below demonstrating the Moshi in action.
Video Demonstration of Moshi
Mom Meets Moshi
I gave my Mom Moshi for Christmas. As soon as it was unwrapped she wanted it plugged in so she could try it out. It was great watching her open it, she was so excited like a kid who got the toy they asked for from Santa. She not only loved what it did, she also liked that it was polite by adding a please when it asked a question.
If you go over to my Mom's house, Moshi will be one of the first things she will show you. It is kind of funny to me because my Mom was never really a technology kind of person, but man she loves this.
I am actually thinking of getting one for myself. I'm thinking of the times where you wake up and you want to know what time it is, but don't really want to open your eyes. You know if you open them you might not get back to sleep. I would be able to just ask Moshi and it would tell me the time. Plus no more fiddling with buttons to set the alarm or shut it off, when I am just too tired to think.
Other Visual Aids We Have Bought For My Mom
With her eye sight slowly getting worse she was starting to struggle with doing some of the things she really enjoys. The hardest by far, for someone who read a book everyday, was losing the ability to read.
The iPad has given her the ability to enjoy books again, just now they are in an audiobook format. I wrote an article, How to listen to audiobooks on ipad , that tells you how you can do it and get the books for free.
She was also having difficulty seeing the keyboard when using her computer. So we found a keyboard with not only bigger keys, but it also has black letters on a yellow background that helps make them easier to see.
At family gatherings there are usually card games played after the meal. The regular deck was getting too difficult for her to see. The jumbo cards provides a larger print that she can see, which allows her play with us again.
She loves playing cards but was having difficulty seeing the numbers and suits on a regular deck of cards.