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Gadget Freak Case #202: Frankenkindle An Easier-to-Use Kindle
1/3/2012

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To program the Teensy++ board, you'll need the Arduino software, as well as a utility to program the Teensy itself.
To program the Teensy++ board, you'll need the Arduino software, as well as a utility to program the Teensy itself.

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Rob Spiegel
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Necessity is the mother here
Rob Spiegel   1/3/2012 10:28:28 AM
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Here's an example of a gadget where necessity really was the mother of invention. Nice to see a gadget that serves a specific purpose and actually helps someone.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: Necessity is the mother here
Jennifer Campbell   1/3/2012 10:49:37 AM
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Maybe Amazon should take note here, and come up with a version that is easier for people who may not otherwise be able to manipulate the smaller controls.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Necessity is the mother here
Rob Spiegel   1/3/2012 2:38:01 PM
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Good point, Jenn. It seems it would only take a few superficial changes. In the meantime, it's great that we have an augmented version through Gadget Freak.

Charles Murray
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Visually impaired
Charles Murray   1/3/2012 8:39:37 PM
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Seems like this could also be a workable solution for users who are visually impaired. The buttons on a Kindle must be too small for someone with visual problems.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Necessity is the mother here
Beth Stackpole   1/4/2012 6:42:46 AM
This is a great story. The asthetics of the design might make the original Kindle designers and engineers cringe, but the sentiment and creativity is awesome. I wholeheartedly agree that Amazon and all of the other tablet vendors should do something, whether it's a special design or a special add-on, that can modify their products to better suit the needs of the visually impaired or others who might have trouble navigating traditional products.

mdashner
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Related Kindle access solution
mdashner   1/4/2012 11:12:56 AM
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This is a shameless plug for another Kindle reader solution for someone that cannot use their hands. PageBot is a Kindle accessory that allows one to turn pages by actuating a special switch. Since this is a product we couldn't hack into the Kindle, so we chose to make a universal mount with integrated mechanical actuators to actually press the next and previous page buttons -- short press for next and long press for previous. Yes, it seems silly to do it this way, but Amazon hasn't shown any interest in allowing/providing electronic access. Of course, if one has a computer with special access hardware they can use the free Kindle app.

Justajo
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Re: Necessity is the mother here
Justajo   1/4/2012 11:31:58 AM
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Don't keep up on these devices enough to know, so have to ask: Where exactly, if at all, is Apple, et al on add-ons for disabled access to their products? To me, nowhere to be seen or priced out of the reach of most of us, thus the need for a homebuilt. Way to go Glenn! 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Related Kindle access solution
Rob Spiegel   1/4/2012 11:32:13 AM
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That's a pretty clever solution, Mdashner. It also sounds like the Frankenkindle wouldn't be able to go commercial since it involved breaking the Kindle open. 

Alexander Wolfe
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function trumps form
Alexander Wolfe   1/4/2012 1:09:30 PM
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This solution points out the need for what, for want of a better phrase, I'd call consumer-ready large-type e-Readers.  The Kindle actually does allow users to make the font larger, but I guess what I'm talking about is something that will be amenable to people who aren't quite so agile at using tiny keys, as is the case with the user for which this project was made.

Nugent_56
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refreshing idea
Nugent_56   1/4/2012 1:39:25 PM
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Congrats on a practical, useful adaption of a product that solves an ergonomic anomoloy. It refreshing to see something other than turbo powered salad spinners and the like.  This is an opportunity for Amazon to sell an auxillary control device that links to the Kindle via bluetooth or some other interface.  Good job!

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