On this page we will look at some of the more popular talking home products for those with vision impairment, failing eyesight, low vision or conditions such as macular degeneration. Modern technology has added voice or talking support to many constantly used home items, which can be of tremendous help and assist with normal home activities.
For those who have problems seeing the numbers on their clock, there is a great selection of talking clocks on offer, including clocks which tell you the time when a button is pressed, talking alarm clocks, inexpensive talking clock keychains, and clocks which will announce the time hourly if you wish, as well as the date. Though most of these have digital displays, there are some analogue (traditional clock face) models available.
You will be able to find a talking watch in the style you prefer, as there is now a huge range of such watches available. They have features for the visually impaired such as saying the time (of course), date, an alarm tone or a countdown. Just like traditional wristwatches, styles include formal designs for going out or for work, and more rugged styles for the outdoors and sports, with both leather and expansion wristbands.
These phones can assist low vision people with their built-in features such as spoken number presses (to confirm the correct number has been pressed), large and backlit easy to see buttons and talking caller ID (so you know who it is calling before you answer). They can be both corded and cordless.
Talking book readers
These units conform to the DAISY system which not only play audio books, but reproduce the full sighted reading experience through searching ability, bookmarks and setting the reading speed. Low-vision or impaired vision users can easily navigate books which don’t have a linear format, such as manuals or encyclopaedias.
These players can read audio books on an SD card or accessed via WIFI, play music, and the most advanced models like the Blaze Daisy player also have Optical Character recognition, meaning they can scan over and read printed material through text-to speech. Simpler models like the Milestone reader can read Daisy, Audible and MP3 format files and also text files via synthetic speech.
Another product now available for those with sight impairment is a handheld scanner or ‘digital highlighter’ which will read text out loud as it is moved across it.
For those in business or self-employed where reading documents is essential, and expense is not important, the Eye-Scan Readers can scan a whole page of printed text, then read it back in a male or female voice.
As well as good-size numeric displays, these calculators will talk the numbers entered and the calculation results. Most models have earphone jacks for privacy while being used. There are both hand-held and desktop models depending on your preference, and scientific and graphing models are available.
Bathroom and kitchen scales which announce their weight measurements are both available. Battery-powered bathroom scales have large digital displays as well as talking capability, and the measurements can be announced in pounds or kilograms. The platform for standing on is designed to be stable.