Keeping in Focus

My reader ran out of power the other evening. Since I only had a few pages to read, I grabbed my iPad mini and started to use that as a magnifier. I made a discovery: I could not keep that thing still and in focus to save my life!

I had been told – and I wrote – that the free magnifying apps could make an acceptable substitute for my $600 magnifier, but I am going to have to qualify that. When handheld, the iPad seems good only for a paragraph or so.

I asked my husband if he could do some tinkering and make a stand. I also asked Lin if she had ever seen a stand. Lin came up with two possibilities off the web. My husband says he could probably not make them any cheaper and have them be as stable.

So, disclaimer: I have never used either of these stands. These are not recommendations. I do not know the people who make these stands and I have no financial interest in them. Ditto for Lin. What I do know is my mini iPad wiggled and went out of focus when used as a reader. It needs a stand and these are available.

Check them out but caveat emptor because we only know what we saw on the internet.

That said, the first one was featured on a site called Simple Smart Skills. As of the time of the post the cost of this iPad ‘document stand’ was $166. Again, could be the same, could not be. The Simple Smart Skills site (try saying that ten times fast! Then “Sister Susie sitting on a thistle.”) also includes a link to the inventor and marketer, Kazunori Asada. That stand is one possibility.

A second option can be found on the IPAT ND assistive technology blog (IPAT stands for North Dakota Interagency Program for Assistive Technology). This is a do-it-yourself project. If you cannot do it yourself or find someone to do it, this is not the option for you. According to the website, the materials cost $90. Again, not a guarantee.

If you cannot get free labor, the price for the DIY stand may exceed the price for the first stand. Your choice. If you want to go with this option, the directions are posted on the web for free.

One more thing before I go: I noticed on the second option they have the iPad hooked into a TV. That setup was recommended to me by the Blindness and Visual Services tech person. He recommended a digital AV adaptor for the iPad and a HDMI cable to connect the iPad to the TV. I paid about $50 at Radio Shack for the adaptor and I have no idea what I paid for the cable at Walmart. It wasn’t crazy, though, because my husband picked it up and he would have commented.

Once again, no gain here from name dropping. Pretty sure they are available at most electronics stores. I just happen to know they are generally available at those two spots. After all, many of us no longer have the option of zipping from store to store on a product hunt.

Oh, P.S. I haven’t hooked that up yet so I cannot comment on how it works. That can be another post.

Next: TOY STORY, AGAIN

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