Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Robot rabbit reads RSS feeds

This plastic rabbit uses a Wi-Fi connection and text-to-speech software to read RSS feeds, e-mails and weather reports out loud.

The Nabaztag rabbit is available for purchase in the U.S. from ThinkGeek.com, or directly from Nabaztag.com. While the Nabaztag will work with any Wi-Fi network, it does need to be plugged into an electrical outlet for power. Once the Nabaztag rabbit is connected, its owner registers it online, gives it an official name, and chooses one of the subscription services designed to work with it.

Basic services--an alarm-clock feature, weather reports, stock updates and e-mail alerts--are free. Premium services, such as reading e-mails and RSS feeds or playing MP3s, range in price from $5 to about $7.50 a month.

Owners specify the time of day they would like the Nabaztag to "come to life." They also determine whether e-mails or RSS feeds are read as they are received or at certain times of day. The device can be set to simply light up when new feeds and e-mail arrive.

Nabaztag owners can subscribe to Nabcasts, Webcasts done by community members for free. Some of them, like the "never-ending bedtime story," are geared toward children.

Each Nabaztag owner has the option to "marry" one rabbit with another, allowing the two devices to mimic each other's movements. If you are thinking of your partner and want to signal your thoughts, moving your rabbit's ears will cause the same movements on your partner's rabbit simultaneously. The rabbits can be located anywhere in the world.

Click this link to learn more about this reading rabbit at Nabaztag.com.

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