Remembering Seasons Through Colour

I'll Be Back In 20 Years: Image of a red 1970's Renault 5 in lush deep grass, door and sunroof open. Potted tree in passenger seat poking through the roof. Driver door open. Spade propped up against the front tyre.

Image by Anton Marrast, linking to "Remembering Seasons Through Colour" by Donna Jodhan.


Level Playing Field (London, July 2012)

Level Playing Field is a two day event set up to showcase accessible music performance and technology. It's part of the City of London Festival's Golden Jubilee year, and plans to bring musicians of all abilities together. It runs on the 6th and 7th of July 2012.

Skoogmusic will be there with their latest developments (see the video below) as will Drake Music. Musician Clarence Adoo will be performing using mouth controlled instruments (see his Headspace page). There's mention of Eye-sound and Share Music Sweden. Basically a whole world of accessible music, performance and technology packed into two days.

Click the main picture above to see the time-table for the Level Playing Field event, and for booking details. It looks plenty exciting.

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Trabasack Media Mount

Image of a Trabasack with snake like black velcro Media Mount cuddling an Xbox 360 joypad so that the face controls are easier to reach.

When it arrived last week, I didn't know quite what to make of Trabasack's black velcro snake like Media Mount accessory thing. It costs £19.95 plus p&p and attaches to a Trabasack tray and itself as needed. So what's it good for?

Read more at the SpecialEffect Accessible GameBase, and see other mouting solutions at the Accessible Gaming Shop.

Left photo is of two large Able-net switches mounted at an angle on a Trabasack Curve using a Media Mount. On the right is a similar switch set-up with a Camera velcroed into place.

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MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone

It looks like our 2010 Christmas wish (Number 9 at SpecialEffect) is coming true at last! A truly simple D.I.Y. build your own accessible game controller kit. What massive fun, and such huge potential. 

Here's some MaKey MaKey ideas...Beach ball to play one-switch games, draw your own controls to play Pac-Man (or anything else), Banana piano keyboard, alphabetti-spaghetti keyboard, water bucket Dance Dance Revolution and Play-doh joypads.

MaKey MaKey: Banana Piano

MaKey MaKey: Pencil drawn working controller

MaKey MaKey: Alphabetti spaghetti keyboard

MaKey MaKey: Circuit Board

What particularly excites me, beyond how this could bring down the cost of accessible controls, is that it acts as a keyboard/mouse. This has me hoping that it will be possible to plug into game consoles too via an Ultimarc iPac interface. And that could change access for some forever in a positive way.

Meanwhile, I may dig out my original 1996 PSone switch interface which used crocodile clips to see if it will work in a similar way whilst waiting impatiently for MaKey MaKey to go into production. Many thanks to Tam Toucan for the link.

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iPad (2012) vs. RCA Studio II (1981) head control

Marcel from Louisiana using an iPad with a head wand pointing device.

A young woman playing a RCA Studio II game of bowling in 1981 using a head wand.

Can you spot the difference between the pictures above? Apart from a gap of 30+ years, there's not much is there? That's Apple iPad access for people who want to use head control.

This isn't to knock RJ Cooper's laudable efforts to make the iPad more accessible, but a call to Apple to do something about it. For such a popular device, they seem to have forgotten a significant range of disabled people

For a company that prides itself on design excellence, this severe downside of the iOS platform is a poor show. If you feel the same, let Apple know.

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Think Before You Click: "Amazon has generated turnover of £7.6 billion in Britain over the past three years without handing a penny to HM Revenue & Customs" - Sunday Times Business Section 08/04/12... Kew Books Ltd, owner of Barnes Bookshop, Kew Bookshop and Sheen Bookshop paid enough tax last year to pay for a student nurse - with your help we could pay for a teacher too.

The major downside of buying from Amazon in the UK. I'm feeling guilty...

Skoog: Breath Control and Single Sided Play

From the Skoogmusic YouTube Channel: "Keith from skoogmusic sends Clarence Adoo a video message updating him on our prototype breath controller for the skoogmusic software, which allows control of our instrument models. In particular, it allows dynamic, intuitive control over the timbre of our wind instruments."

Really exciting progress at Skoogmusic, and especially so for one-sided playthrough of pre-arranged "skores". This means you can dictate the tempo and expression of a tune using a single pressure point. Can't wait to try this out.

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