Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Tesla’s flatulence feature, PS4 declining sales over the holidays, an unexpected Amazon delivery, Arizona’s digital license plates, and more.
Mike in West Point, Mississippi listens asked: “I got a notice through my Iris account that Iris is going to shut down and Lowes is going to stop carrying the Iris devices. Do you have a good way to transition since I have a tremendous amount of Iris devices?”
Mike, if you go by Lowes own website, it looks like the answer is right there: get rid of all your Iris devices.
The reason we say that is that Iris devices aren’t all compatible with more open standards like Z-Wave, and Lowes is exchanging some Iris devices for Visa gift cards.
Realistically, you won’t get back the money you put in, but since smart devices depend on other smart platforms, sooner or later they’ll stop working if their manufacturer isn’t there to keep them running.
As for what to replace them with, we’d bet on two things, either
Since you say you have a tremendous amount of devices, the truth is that there are probably no easy solutions. You’re going to have to put in some work and money to get back what you’re about to lose.
Marge in Delaware asked: “Have a very close friend – legally blind. Wants just a plain cell phone. Anything that’s bigger than 2 inches by 2 inches. Any suggestions? We’re really in a bind. Got any suggestions? And she’s not the only one. She’s part of a blind group and they’re all looking for the same thing.”
Marge, there aren’t many companies that cater specifically to the visually impaired segment of the market, but a few still cater to seniors who are afraid of touchscreens.
The phones that market to that crowd
Having said that, smartphones have accessibility modes that make them usable for visually impaired (including fully blind) users. We should at least make the case for one very interesting feature that smartphones have.
There are several free apps, manned by sighted volunteers, that allow a blind user to point their phones at something they need help with and have the sighted user on the other end describe it to them. For example, if your friend happened to pick up a can in her own kitchen and put it down in the wrong place and now can’t tell if they’re
Voice assistants can also be a good solution for simple tasks like reading and responding to text messages, or making calls.
If she’s willing to try, a smartphone may be a very viable choice.
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