NCBI Labs

NCBI Labs

This is a technology podcast focused on technology that supports people with sight loss. NCBI Labs is the technology function within www.ncbi.ie NCBI (National Council for the Blind Ireland) is the national sight loss agency. We are a not for profit charity, which offers support and services to people of all ages who are experiencing difficulties with their eyesight.

Episodes

October 12, 2021 62 min

On the show this week we're delighted to have back with us Stephen Howell, Senior Program Manager with Microsoft Ireland. Stephen tells us about the latest accessibility features and enhancements to look forward to in Windows 11.

We also find out from Stephen all there is to know about the much-anticipated Surface Adaptive Kit being brought out by Microsoft to make its hardware more accessible. Showcased at the recent Microsoft ...

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On the show this week we are joined by David Nason from Apple Vis to find out about the latest features and functions in iOS 15. Highlights include being able to perform more tasks with Siri off-line, a new VoiceOver Quick Settings menu, and a new feature called Live Text that allows you to read text from photos and with the Camera app.

We look back at some of the highlights from Apple’s recent ‘California Streaming’ event that intr...

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September 14, 2021 66 min

On the show this week we discuss the role technology can play in making the workplace a more inclusive environment for people with sight loss. What are some of the challenges faced when seeking or in employment, and what grants are available to fund the equipment needed? Joining us on Meet the Team to help answer these questions and more is Maura Barry who works with the Employment and Vocation Service in NCBI.

We explore a range of...

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August 31, 2021 64 min


On the show this week we are delighted to be joined by special guest Steven Scott from the RNIB Tech Talk Team.

With almost 400 episodes, Tech Talk is a podcast and radio show for blind and partially sighted people who are interested in accessible technology. Steven tells us all there is to know about the RNIB Tech Talk podcast show, favourite interviews, funniest moments, and more.

We also find out what has happened to the popular F...

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August 17, 2021 56 min

On the show this week we find out about Sight Tech Global 2021, an event focusing on AI and the future of accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired. The virtual event takes place this year from December 1-2 and is free to the public. To find out more about what’s in store we are joined by Ned Desmond, the founder and executive producer of Sight Tech Global.

We catch up with Dominique Farrell who shares with us her ...

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August 3, 2021 87 min

On this Live Event Special we find out about Microsoft Soundscape, an app that assists those who are blind or vision impaired to explore the world around them through a 3D audio experience.


As the next step on the journey to enabling a more accessible Ireland for all, Microsoft Ireland announced the availability of Soundscape on iOS on Tuesday 3rd August. NCBI are thrilled to partner with Microsoft for the launch and celebrate their...

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July 27, 2021 69 min

On the show this week we are joined by Joe McPhillips from Wexford to hear about his experience using the Apple Watch. Since the debut of the first Apple Watch in 2015, this smartwatch has evolved from a wrist-worn extension of the iPhone to a device that can tell you a whole lot about your health and more. Joe tells us how to set up the Apple Watch, its key features, and its many health benefits.

On Seeing It Your Way we are joined...

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July 19, 2021 65 min

In this Live Event we are joined by NCBI’s Chief Technology Officer Kyran O’Mahoney to find out about the latest developments of the NCBI SmartHub. When available, the Smart Hub will provide a means of receiving information about NCBI and availing of essential services through your smart speaker.

We will also be Joined by David Nason who will tell us all about Airtags, Apple's GPS Trackers often used in keyrings and suitcases to...

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June 29, 2021 67 min

On this Live Event we are joined by Glen Gordan, who for the last 25 years has been the architect behind the popular JAWS Screen Reader. In the mid-1990s, the flourishing popularity of Microsoft Windows and its graphical user interface brought with it much concern for many computer users who were blind or had low vision. On the show this week Glen tells us how JAWS was adapted to a GUI, how the software has been developed in the in...

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June 15, 2021 60 min

On this Live Event we find out about online banking and managing your finances with the popular Revolut app. How do you set up a Revolut account, what services are available, and how accessible is the app itself? To help answer these questions and more we are joined by Sebastian Hamilton, Head of Public Affairs at Revolut Ireland. Also, to provide us with an insight into the Revolut app from the perspective of a user with a vision ...

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June 1, 2021 59 min

This week we check out the accessibility and accuracy of a range of weather apps. Irish people are known to be fixated by the weather with almost every conversation starting with this topic. Will I need to bring an umbrella today? Is the weather going to be good for the weekend? The topic of the weather is never far from our minds or our conversations and to help find out about some of the most popular weather apps available we are...

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May 25, 2021 57 min

This week we check out accessibility offerings on the Chromecast with Google TV, a device that can turn any TV into a smart TV with all your favourite streaming apps. We go through how to use the Chromecast’s TalkBack screen reader and its Voice Remote to access video and audio content.

Also this week, NCBI Labs IT Trainer Miriam Kelly provides us with a demonstration of how to use the rotor feature with VoiceOver that can help user...

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May 18, 2021 58 min

This week, with the news of the latest Ransomware attack on the HSE, we will be taking time to find out about this type of malware and also what we can do to help protect ourselves against such cyberattacks.

On Seeing it Your Way, we catch up with Dominique Farrell from Dublin to find out about the technology she uses in her day to day life.

We have lots of Quick Tips coming up this week too including how to access the emoji panel in...

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May 11, 2021 76 min

Coming up on this Live Event we have an interview with Sky to find out about a new Voice Guidance feature recently introduced to the Sky Q box. Joining a suite of other accessibility features available on the Sky Q box, Voice Guidance turns all items on the screen into spoken output to make navigating the platform’s TV guide, menus, Show Centres, collections, and on-screen messages much easier for those with visual impairments.

To f...

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April 27, 2021 68 min

This week we take a look back at some of the highlights from Apple’s recent Spring Loaded event that included the launch of an all-new iMac, two new iPad Pros, an updated Apple TV, and the much anticipated AirTags. We'll also be discussing what to expect with the release of iOS 14.5 this week that includes the option to unlock the iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, new Siri voices, support for AirTags, and Apple...

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April 20, 2021 59 min

This week our conversation turns to accessible app development and the research that is involved in coming up with new concepts for inclusive technology. To find out more we will be joined by Susan McKeever, Senior Lecturer from Technological University Dublin. Susan will be telling us about a new navigational app for people with sight loss that is currently being designed by her research team at TU Dublin.

We will also be joined by...

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April 13, 2021 75 min

This week our conversation turns to mobile phones and what are the key things to consider when purchasing a new one. We’ll be discussing the different types of mobile phones out there and what they offer in terms of accessibility features, design, memory, battery life, price, and more.

On Meet the Team we speak with Karen O’Connell from the Children’s Services Team at NCBI.

On Seeing It Your Way we catch up with Bob Murphy from Sligo...

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March 30, 2021 82 min

In this Live Event we explore the area of accessibility with Microsoft. What are some of latest accessibility features in Windows 10 and Microsoft Office for someone who is blind or has low vision? How exactly does Artificial Intelligence work and how is it being used to make products more accessible for people with sight loss? 

Joining us this week to help answer these questions is Stephen Howell, Accessibility Lead for diversity a...

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March 23, 2021 62 min

On this Live Event we explore the Google Lookout App on Android that is designed for people who are blind or have low-vision. This free app has similar features to the popular Seeing AI app on iOS such as the ability to read text, explore surroundings, and identify products and currency. We find out about new features introduced in the latest version of Google Lookout and its new accessible design that makes the app more compatible...

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March 16, 2021 63 min

On this Live Event we take time to explore the area of accessible gaming. What are some of the best games out there for someone who is blind or partially sighted, and how can we stay up to date with the latest news and developments in this area? To find out more we will be joined by Darwin Gaffney and Iain Strachan who recently founded the RNIB Vision Impaired gaming group. Darwin and Iain will be telling us about their own love of...

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