Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 3 at New York Institute of Special Ed

 I am expecting a lot to happen as we go through the next six weeks, and there will be a great deal of interaction between me, Gene, Zach, Ellen and Grace to get it all done. Some other tasks that need to get underway, and that will involve various members of the project staff are:
  • Design, fabricate and test a new version of the belt holder. We learned a lot about how the user's hair and clothes have to be shifted in order to get good, continuous view of the light strip above. In general, we ran into trouble with hoodies, sweaters, vests, bushy or otherwise bulky hair. Gene and I will work Grace to improve the design and then reprint it in time for testing at Jewish Guild for the Blind and HKNC in January.
  • make sure that that the lights are being evenly powered along the length of the overhead strip. You could clearly see, in the on-screen display, that the lights were much steadier when the user was standing near the end of the light track where power and control wires connect.  Zach has to look into that and make some improvements to the electronics of the controller.
  • Add visual indicators on screen to show when feedback is playing.  It's really hard to know what the student is hearing by reading the messages sequentially, especially since things could occur at the same time.
  • Solve the problem of not being able to have an instructor listen to the stereo mix  that the student is hearing through his own headphones or through a separate speaker.   Someone in the world must have confronted this before with Bluetooth, I am hoping. 
  • Begin to develop a strategy for producing a curriculum to go along with the system.  Gene and I talked about the three existing texts on cane instruction that are in use, and he will post a discussion comparing these soon, so that as a group we can arrive at a consensus about how to teach using WiiCane. It will also be good to reintroduce Bonnie and Dona to the discussion as we enter into this part. 
Wow, that's a lot of things to do.  We have barely enough time for everything before the end of the project, but I think that if everyone makes steady progress on their parts, we will do it. I feel like people are going to love this product, because it is oddly fun to do, which is what all of the users agreed on, so we need to do this and make a new product to show how small business in America can work to make niche high tech products like this. 

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