Monday, July 22, 2013

More Amazing Technology!

More Amazing Technology! 
Monday,  July 22, 2013

It is always good to have our sons visiting and I usually press them into service where technological expertise is needed.  Ron is extremely capable of many things but when it comes to computers and newer gadgets, he is normally willing to step aside and let the boys help.  Stephen picked up in the research on a particular need for me at the point where David had left off recently studying what I needed.  Even though Stephen is here visiting with his girlfriend, Kristina, he took time to help me with this project.

One of the things that is important for Cochlear Implant patients to do is to listen to spoken words while reading those same written words.  In the past they have suggested listening to recorded children's books while reading them to get used to what the words sound like.  One reason for the children's books is that they are usually read more slowly.  As I have mentioned, I am so far ahead of most of the implant patients, that my experiences can't really be compared to theirs.  I had read before my implant was activated, that some implant patients use a system developed and marketed by called Whispersync.  Amazon has eBooks for Kindles and Audible has audio books that match the eBooks on Amazon. 

If you have ever listened to an audio book, you may have found that it omitted some of the text.  With the Whispersync system, the two are word for word the same.  Originally Whispersync was developed for people who wanted to listen to their books while jogging, working, cleaning, or any number of other activities.  Then later at home if they wanted to sit down and read the book, they would have to find their spot in the printed or eBook and then start reading it that way.  With Whispersync, the eBook and the Audible (audio book) are synchronized so that one knows where you stopped in the other.  You do have to buy both the eBook and the audio book, but the audio book is discounted after you buy the eBook.

Some Cochlear Implant patients were buying the two items and listening and reading at the same time.  They would download the eBook to their Kindle and the Audible book to an MP3 player or iPod.  Now Amazon has what is called Immersion Reading.  It does exactly what the patients had been seeking - a way to hear someone reading a book while they follow along in written format at the same time.  It took a lot of research and the help of my sons, to put it all together for me, (to help me know what I was needing), but today I got it all figured out and purchased a Kindle Fire HD 8.9" which comes equipped for Immersion Reading.  There are three models of the Kindle Fire that meet those needs.  The Kindle Fire 2nd Generation, the Kindle Fire HD 7" and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" all come ready for the Immersion Reading.

After work Ron and I went to Best Buy and purchased the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" which was on sale for $50 off and I am ready to read!  Stephen helped by setting it up for me and then helped after I selected a book to download.  Another nice thing is that all books I had purchased for my other Kindle transferred to the new one.  I don't have the audio books for them, but I can read them on either device.  Stephen also reminded me that one of those cables I showed in a recent set of photos about all my Cochlear equipment, was just right to attach to the Kindle Fire and to my sound processor.  Doing that, makes for much clearer sound and no one else hears what I am listening to.

When my implant was activated, I asked the audiologist about this system, but she was not familiar with it.  She said if I found out it would work, she would be delighted to know.  Well, IT WORKS!  One of her concerns was the speed of the reading.  She said not all her patients could follow it at the speed most audio books are read.  The Kindle Fire has speed control!  You have your choice of half speed, normal, double, and triple speeds.  I am eager to do some listening/reading! 

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