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Talking Clocks For Visually Impaired

Updated on January 16, 2015

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.

(1) Hoyle Super Jumbo Bridge-Size Deck of Playing Cards (Single Pack)
(1) Hoyle Super Jumbo Bridge-Size Deck of Playing Cards (Single Pack)

She loves playing cards but was having difficulty seeing the numbers and suits on a regular deck of cards.

 

Do you know someone who could use a Moshi? - Any products you would recommend we should get for my Mom?

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    • tammywilliams09 profile image

      tammywilliams09 4 years ago

      I never heard of a talking clock so I am glad that I read your lens. Moshi is definitely worth making a note of. It would be really convenient like you said when wanting to know the time without looking at the display.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I'll look into this for my mom too. What a great idea! For those of us who are nearsighted, being able to ask the clock to tell us the time would be wonderful. Thank you for introducing me to this product.

    • centralplexus profile image

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      Whenever I reach out to turn off the alarm I always drop (or break) something so this seems very clever and useful for me. Thanks for sharing!

    • castelloautore profile image

      castelloautore 4 years ago

      We love new ideas. It reminded this writer of the voice on GPS, a friendly friend when on the road alone. And this clock will provide the same feeling for someone who will be Blessed to receive it as a gift.

    • KerryVor profile image

      Kerry Voronoff 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What a brilliant idea. I'll remember this if ever my mother's eyesight starts to deteriorate.

    • rihamah lm profile image

      rihamah lm 4 years ago

      nice lens really

    • profile image

      greytdogz 4 years ago

      Interesting. My eyesight has diminished considerably over the past few years and I have difficulty focusing on the clock at night. I'm going to look into a clock just like this one... Thanks.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      What a great personal recommendation lens!!

    • JamieHopes LM profile image

      JamieHopes LM 4 years ago

      Congrats for a deserved quest award. This is a great gadget to have.

    • Fran Tollett profile image

      Fran Tollett 4 years ago

      What a GREAT gift and a GREAT lens! I will have to surprise my mom with one of these. :-) It's wonderful its so easy to use. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your purple star AND winning the quest. Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This lens reminds me of my elderly neighbor, who recently passed away. She always liked the jumbo word crossword puzzles -- Dollar General was the only place in our neighborhood that carried them. Great article and thanks for sharing!

    • waynekat profile image

      waynekat 4 years ago

      That moshi sounds like a boat load of fun... I wonder if my nephew might have a good time with it. :)

    • DaveP2307 profile image

      DaveP2307 4 years ago

      I've not seen one of these before. For anyone who has sight problems this would wonderful.

    • JeannyLeRoux profile image

      JeannyLeRoux 4 years ago

      Congratulations whatsittoyou !! This really is a great lense...... I will definitely recommend this to everyone I know.....

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      This is a really cool clock I would love to have one, especially for the weekends.

    • hotsquid profile image

      hotsquid 4 years ago

      Never heard of the talking clock before. Now I know where to get one. Nice lens!

    • Sharon Weaver profile image

      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Glad that your mom enjoys this clock so much. Seems like it really fills a need.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Oh my gosh, I have to have one of these! What a great gift idea, too. No wonder your mom shows off her Moshi! Congratulations for your quest award and purple star!

    • profile image

      mommateaches 4 years ago

      What a great gift for your mom! Congratulations on winning the quest! I really enjoyed reading your lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Congratulation for winning the quest, you deserve it with this very nice and clear lens,good job

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for making me aware of another gadget which would be of great help for my aging Mom...this talking clock will be part of the birthday gifts in a couple weeks. Congrats on being the Personal Recommendation winner!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 4 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I got my Mom Natural Reader software. She gets to a website (or opens an email, or a document) and hits the Natural Reader button and it reads to her. The free version has just the choppy voices, but we upgraded for the natural more human voices. She loves it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This would be great for my Grandpa! Thanks for the idea!

    • justramblin profile image

      justramblin 4 years ago

      This is a great gadget. I wonder if the US has an agency similar to CNIB and aren't you smart for going to their website. Isn't it fun to find the perfect gift for someone?

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      Thanks for the information on the talking clock. I didn't even realize they existed but it makes perfect sense.