Product Review

FitBit Aria WiFI Smart Scale

Review by Simon Wheatcroft

FitBit Aria WiFi Scales

As the New Year begins and the inevitable diet starts, it’s time to find some accessible weighing scales. I am a fan of consumer-level products over those specifically designed for the visually impaired. I feel there is a lot to be said for a consumer device that is accessible over a device specifically targeted to be accessible.

So rather than purchasing a pair of talking scales, I hunted around for some scales which may be accessible. This led me to the FitBit Aria WiFI Smart Scale. They had two features specifically which drew me in: a very high-contrast screen and a smartphone app. While I am unable to see the screen myself, someone with functional vision may be able to see the high-contrast screen. This out-of-the-box accessibility is refreshing for a product which is not necessarily aimed at the accessible market.



Review by Jerry Berrier

Why would a person who is totally blind want to take pictures? A year ago, my response would have gone something like this: “Photography has no place in my life. I wouldn’t know if the camera was focused, too close, too far away, too much light, not enough light… Besides, why would I want to take pictures when I cannot see them? Let sighted people worry about photos. I’ll just listen to the thousand words it takes to equal the value of one picture.”



Review by Erich Manser

I personally use Ai Squared’s ZoomReader application for iOS devices on my iPhone 4S. ZoomReader is a mobile application for iOS devices. This app, in conjunction with the device’s built-in camera, allows users to take a picture of any object containing text. The app itself can be customized in appearance and performance to make features more accessible to users. ZoomReader offers increased independence for users in activities such as going grocery shopping and reading prescription bottles. ZoomReader can be used with iPhone 4, 4S, 5, iPad (with retina display), iPad mini and iPod Touch (5th generation).


MagLight+ App for iPhones

Review by Linda Burr, MS, OTR/L, MABVI

MagLight+At just 99 cents Apple’s Maglight+ app by Studio Tentpole transforms your iPhone (requires iOS7.0 or later) into a great magnifying glass with the option of adding flashlight capability. This app is great for reading food and prescription labels, restaurant menus, etc. There is a slider to increase magnification and a setting for continuous auto-focus. On the downside when the iPhone goes into sleep mode, it will not remember the settings when the phone is activated again and the flashlight capability will decrease the battery life of the iphone. More information about this app can be found by signing into your iTunes App Store on your computer or iPhone and typing “Maglight magnifiying glass and flashlight” in the search engine. If you have low vision you might want to seek out an Occupational Therapist who can assess if this product is appropriate for your needs before purchasing it for yourself. Overall, this is a nice app for general use.

Trekker Breeze

Review by Adrian Broca

The Breeze has made a huge difference in my everyday life. This amazing handheld device audibly lets me know my exact location, as well as upcoming intersections, and location of landmarks and shops nearby. Gone are the days of guessing my stop when riding the bus. The Trekker’s step-by-step directions make it incredibly easy to find any address or place.


IDEAL Currency Identifier

Review by Steph Solis

Have you ever wished you had an easy way to count money? Well, there’s an app for that.

IDEAL Currency Identifier is a free Android app that scans U.S. currency and states the number on the bill. It has been recommended for blind and visually impaired shoppers.

The app was created by IDEAL Group and the Android Team, as well as the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Center within the U.S. Department of Education, the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, the Appfactory, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing within the U.S. Department of Treasury.



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