Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Bone conduction headphones and more by Mike May

As we all know, hearing audio in a mobile environment can be a challenge, either for using a phone or an audible GPS device. One of the best solutions is to have a Braille display device. Some people don't mind a wired speaker. It is also possible to use an external Bluetooth speaker placed on a shoulder strap on top of your shoulder. Sendero has recommended and even carried a few of these speakers over the years, starting with a Radio Shack model back in our GPS-Talk laptop days. Then there was that cute little unit called the Party Speaker. We also carried the OrbitSound T3, which hung around your neck. Both were wired.

I am always testing small speakers and headphones and thought I'd share my latest findings with you.

Sendero currently sells the Airdrives, which are the best low-cost earphones that don't cover your ears. They are great in medium to low level sound environments. You can't hear with them if there is very loud traffic however.

Bone conduction seemed like a logical way to transmit sound without covering one's ears. I have tried several models using this technique over the years. They required an amplifier and were in the $200 range until now.

The brand new After Shokz bone conduction headphones sell for $59 for the headphones only model or $69 if they include a microphone. Note that Shokz is spelled S H O K Z. They loop over your ears and have a neck band. They are wired of course and have a pack-of-gum sized amp on the cord with two buttons. They charge using an adapter on the eighth inch audio plug.

They work great either with a PDA or with a phone. They go really loud if you want. You control the sound from your device. No volume controls on the headphones.

The drivers sit right in front of your ears in the same way as the Airdrives do. They do apply a bit of pressure. This is one way they transmit sound. They wouldn't be as comfortable to wear as the Airdrives over a long period of time. I find that I take them off my head and leave them on my neck when I am not actively using them.

The sound quality is mediocre. They are fine for music but not meant to be high fidelity. They are excellent for a mobile environment and are plenty loud.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


How does one stay current with all the technology?

At CSUN 2012, Kerry Lueders, from the Low Vision Rehabilitation Program College of Education and Rehabilitation Salus University, recorded various answers from CSUN attendees on how they stay current with all the technology. You can view their answers in this You Tube video.

Mike May was interviewed for this video. His loudest message to teachers, blind folks, or O&M instructors is "the better we get around, the better we engage in life in both social and career development."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Virtual iPhone keyboard

I mentioned an interesting virtual iPhone keyboard in a posting about the cool things at the CSUN conference.

If anyone wants to follow this development, see the email below.

In order to keep you updated with developments and have a place online where we can exchange ideas with the community, we have set up a Facebook group that can also be accessed via email for posting and commenting. You will need to join the group first. After that you will be able to make a new post by emailing , or comment on an existing post by replying to the email notifications that you will get.
Please forward this to whoever you think might be interested in using this product when it is released.
Thanks again!

Kostas Eleftheriou
Founder & CEO
Syntellia, Inc

Friday, March 02, 2012


San Diego bay boat cruise

Sendero and Sweetman Systems hosted a San Diego bay boat cruise during the CSUN 2012 conference featuring Sendero GPS and live music by Sara Beck

Sweetmans on the San Diego boat cruise

San Diego boat cruise attendees

Thursday, March 01, 2012


CSUN iPhone Brainstorming Session

Sendero Group with collaborators is in the beginning stages of creating a fully accessible turn-by-turn GPS iPhone application. At CSUN, we gathered together a cross section of iPhone GPS users of various applications in order to identify the features to include in its new application. We held a brainstorming session in the Sendero Suite at CSUN on both Thursday and Friday. We would like to thank the participants for all the great ideas.

iPhone brainstorming session at CSUN

Charles speaking at the iPhone brainstorming session in the Sendero Suite at CSUN


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