Claro Software is now Cyber Essentials Certified!

We are excited to announce that as of today, we are now Cyber Essentials certified.

Cyber Essentials Badge

Not sure what Cyber Essentials is?

Cyber Essentials helps to guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrates our commitment to cyber security.

Our systems and software meet the following requirements under five technical control themes:

  • firewalls
  • secure configuration
  • user access control
  • malware protection
  • patch management

Our certification reassures you that our defences will protect against the vast majority of common cyber-attacks simply because these attacks are looking for targets which do not have the Cyber Essentials technical controls in place.

Cyber Essentials Cert

Find out more about Cyber Essentials here.

 

AT Roadshow Events 2018

Claro Software, Inspiration and Nuance have teamed up to go on the road to give DSA Assessors and HE Disability Officers the opportunity to gain free CPD on their products, as well an opportunity to network with fellow professionals.

Where and when?

The CPD roadshows will run from 9.30-1.30pm on:
• 26th June – York (Mansion House)
• 27th June – Coventry University (Techno Centre)
• 28th June – London (Westminster – Central Hall)

The event will include the following presentations:

Claro Software: Supporting students on every device
From ClaroRead for Windows and Mac to our great apps for iPad, iPhone and Android, get updates on the latest versions of all our Claro Software programs and real-world examples of how they are used to help students achieve all they can.

Inspiration Software: Inspiration Maps for iOS
Demonstration of Inspiration Maps, the most intuitive and powerful visual thinking and learning app on iPad and iPhone. Inspiration Maps can be used to help students with specific learning difficulties brainstorm, mind map, plan, take notes and write essays, making it ideal for use in lectures, classes and field trips, where a laptop is less convenient.

Nuance: Getting the most out of Dragon
Get the latest news and a detailed demo of the world-class best speech recognition solution, Dragon Professional. Hints and tips for getting the most out of this powerful tool, including proofing, transcription, and mobile. Try it out yourself and learn how it works.

Presentation by our guest Assistive Technology Service Provider
Microlink (London), Invate (Coventry) and iansyst (York).

Click here for the full agenda.

All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and a free copy of;
• Inspiration Maps
• ClaroRead Pro for Windows and Mac and all our Apps

Why attend?

Find out the very latest information about our roadshow products and ask the questions you need answering, to ensure that your organisation is offering the best product solutions to your students.

Booking

Spaces are limited, so click here to make your booking.

We hope to see you there!

Claro ScanPen V1.8 iOS Released

Version 1.8 of our ScanPen apps for iOS have been released! This latest version introduces the powerful new document detection feature.

Using the new document detection feature allows you to detect and enhance only the documents in your camera feed. It will automatically search, take a photo, crop out any unwanted background space and then straighten the photo to give you the best possible scanning and text selection experience.

For example, these two screenshots compare the photos taken [1] without document detection and [2] with document detection.

[1] Without document detection

The document of interest is slightly skewed and there is a lot of background space that we are not interested in. It scans and reads OK, but it could be better.

[2] With document detection

This is a much better photo. The document is cropped to fit the entire image and it has been straightened up. This results in a much more accurate scanning and text speaking experience.

Along with the new document detection feature, V1.8 also introduces image filters to help you enhance your images. Here is an example of the greyscale filter that we have applied to the above document:

This increases the contrast between the text and the background, enhancing and improving the results of the OCR.

Another major new improvement to V1.8 is the addition of lots more iOS system voices. You can now access Siri voices, enhanced quality voices and male and female voices for many of the supported languages. These voices are all still freely available to use.

For the full release notes of V1.8 of Claro ScanPen, check here: Claro ScanPen V1.8 Release Notes.

View Claro ScanPen and Claro ScanPen Premium on the App Store now!

Controlling Claro VR Apps

We’ve recently developed and released some VR apps for iOS and Android which have been received well.  However, one question that keeps popping up is: How can I control the app?
There is a lack of accessible, adequate control for VR apps.  Generally, there are two forms of user control when using VR apps:
  1. Headset controls.
  2. External controller pads.

Headsets

There are not many headsets that have built in controls.  The main one is the Samsung Gear VR headset that has a directional touch pad as well as back and home buttons:
Samsung Gear VR controls
This works well with our Android apps but this particular headset is only compatible with a limited set of Samsung mobile devices: Galaxy S8 / S8+ / S7 / S7 edge / Note5 / S6 edge+ / S6 /S6 edge (as of December 2017)

 

A cheaper and more accessible alternative to the Gear VR headset is the Google Cardboard headset (or similar).  These are made of cardboard and are around £15 to buy on the Google Store:

 

Cardboard supports most Android or iOS phones with screen sizes from 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm).  Control is rather limited on these however and is restricted to a single tap on the phones screen:
Google Cardboard
 You can use this single tap feature to perform the main functions in our VR apps.  In MagVR, for example, a single tap will zoom in, until maximum zoom and then the next single tap will zoom out.

 

An example of an alternative cardboard headset would be something like this:

 

 

 

A caveat with using these type of headsets, is that you have to poke/cut a hole in the face, so the device’s camera can see out.  That is why cardboard is suitable! Other suitable headsets include ones with removable or retractable front faces, so the camera can see out.

 

Controllers

Controllers or gamepads are more generic and there are lots to choose from.  These include the more traditional types that you might normally associate with games consoles, that have the X/Y/B/A buttons.

 

XYBA controls
If these state that they are iOS and/or Android compatible then you can use them to control our apps.
An example of one that we tried and tested on iOS, is the Mad Catz Controller:

 

 

 

 

For this particular model, there is also an Android version available.

 

On Android, we used the SteelSeries Nimbus/Stratus controller

 

 

 

These controllers work well but you have to hold and control them with both hands.  If you would prefer something smaller, our VR apps also support “mini” controllers.  These are quite cheap and small, so you can hold the controller and use it with one hand.

 

Mini controller
These mini controllers often have two modes: “game” and “key” or something similar.  To control our apps, they should be toggled to game mode.

 

 

 

iOS Apple Watch

Our iOS apps can also be controlled using an Apple Watch.  When you install one of our VR apps on iOS, you’ll also get the corresponding Watch App installed on your Apple Watch.  You can open this app and control the phone app.

ClaroRead Anywhere V12 Released

We have updated our online cross-platform Web App, ClaroRead Anywhere. This release, which is available to all users immediately, focuses on ease-of-use and performance: we are all busy people and we need the tools we use to work smoothly and easily.

A big part of performance is letting you know that the App is doing what you have told it to do. First, when you use Speech Recognition, you will see the text you are dictating appearing as you say it, rather than in one lump at the end:

Second, when you are converting a file (PDF or image) so you can read the contents aloud and work with them, you’ll get more information that ClaroRead Anywhere is processing and working.

We’ve also made ClaroRead Anywhere better at opening Microsoft Word and Google Docs documents. Lists (bullet points) are better-displayed and easier to read and use.

Finally, if you start a new document but you’ve changed the original, you’ll be prompted to save it – simple, familiar, but a little tweak that stops you potentially losing work. We hope these tweaks make ClaroRead Anywhere more enjoyable to use on your device – which of course can be any tablet, desktop, laptop or phone!

Speech Recognition is only supported in the Google Chrome browser on Windows, Chromebook, iOS and Android.

More

ClaroCom V1.4 Released

In April 2017, we updated our ClaroCom app with a couple of great new features:

Link & chat to iOS device (Pro only)

This adds the ability to connect your device to any other device that is also using ClaroCom. You can then chat between the devices using the text that you type or words or phrases that you select. You can also use your word and phrase prediction to help you compose messages.

This feature is disabled by default, but you can switch it on in the ClaroCom Settings menu:

Then new button will appear on the top toolbar:

Tap this button to open the chat connection window.  ClaroCom will then automatically search for any other devices in range that are also using ClaroCom.  When you find a device you want to connect to, tap it to ask them to chat:

When you are connected, you can close the chat connection window are start chatting:

When you are finished, you can open the chat connection window and tap Disconnect to close the chat and return ClaroCom back to its normal use.

This feature requires bluetooth or Wi-Fi.  The devices must both be using ClaroCom and be on the same Wi-Fi network or within bluetooth range.

Added support for split screen on iPads

You can now use ClaroCom in multi-tasking mode, allowing you to run it split-screen with other apps:

Updated Icon

We’ve also updated the app icons to a more modern style as well as updating the Speak button to match this.

ClaroPDF V1.9 Released

ClaroPDF V1.9 update is now available on the iOS App Store.

What’s new in V1.9?

  • Four free voices – you can now download up to 4 of our high-quality voices for free, inside the Store in ClaroPDF. ClaroPDF no longer comes pre-installed with any installed high-quality voices, so the initial app install time should be significantly reduced. Then you can choose to download your preferred voices in a wide range of languages.
  • Improvements to the “Convert as Text PDF” feature.
  • Export annotations as text.
  • New Animated Speech Highlighting on sentence mode.
  • New background colour chooser.
  • New speech rate slider.
  • Bug fixes.

See the ClaroPDF V1.9 Release Notes page for more detailed information.

ClaroRead for Mac V6 Release Notes

What’s New in V6.0?

  • A New Integrated Optical Character Recognition engine – ClaroRead Plus for Mac now includes its own integrated optical character recognition engine which gives you the rapid Scan from Screen function to capture any inaccessible text, as well as quickly converting scanned files to accessible PDF, Word and text files.
  • New Scan from Paper feature – you can now quickly launch the MacOS Image Capture app and immediately get to scanning in physical documents and creating accessible, digital copies of them using “Scan to ClaroRead”*.
  • New Scan from PDF/File feature – using the new Scan from PDF/File feature you can convert PDF or image files to fully accessible formats, so that ClaroRead can then read aloud. You can also scan inaccessible files and create editable output formats, such as DOCX. Supported output formats are PDF, DOCX, TXT and RTF *.
  • New Scan from screen feature – with the new Scan from screen feature you can select an area of the screen to be read with your mouse and ClaroRead will quickly and accurately scan your chosen area and read it aloud. You can now instantly read anything on your screen as well as copy it to the clipboard.
  • Launch ClaroRead with PDF and image files. ClaroRead now supports opening of PDF and image files directly, so you can choose a PDF/image file, right-click and select Open With, choose ClaroRead and it will launch ClaroRead and start the file scanning process.
  • New extra app – ClaroSpeak. ClaroSpeak is a supportive reading and speaking app that read PDF files, Microsoft Word document, text files and more, aloud, with synchronised highlighting. When you open a document in ClaroSpeak, the text of the document gets copied in to the ClaroSpeak window and then you can also edit any text. ClaroSpeaks built-in text prediction and echo features can help you maintain accurate typing.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue that could cause text in Microsoft Word documents to be removed when speaking them and quickly moving/switching between different documents.
  • Fixed an issue where some prediction items were being spoken twice.

* indicates features only available in ClaroRead Plus

System Requirements

ClaroRead SE/Standard/Plus for Mac:

  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • 850MB of disk space
  • 200MB-650MB for each voice

Recommended:

  • Microsoft Word 2008, 2011, 2016
  • Pages ‘09 (V4)

ClaroRead Pro for Mac:

  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • 1.3GB of disk space
  • 200MB-650MB for each voice

Recommended:

  • Microsoft Word 2008, 2011, 2016
  • Pages ‘09 (V4)

ClaroPDF V1.8 Released

The latest version of ClaroPDF is now available in the App Store!

What’s New in V1.8?

  • iCloud Integration: ClaroPDF is now fully integrated with iCloud Drive so you can save to, and open from your iCloud Drive across all of your iOS devices. You can also quickly save and open documents from other compatible apps using the iCloud Drive feature
  • New My Documents list: There is a brand new My Documents list in V1.8. This new documents list is smoother, faster and organises your documents alphabetically into sections. D
  • Search – there is now a search bar so you can search for documents.
  • Improved rename, move and delete features – these features have an improved UI and it is now possible to move/delete multiple documents simultaneously.
  • Improved the launch of ClaroPDF so it launches faster and cleaner.
  • Many other bug fixes and performance improvements.

Follow @ClaroPDF on Twitter for the latest news and hints & tips.

Check out The Codpasts recent review of our ClaroSpeak Plus App!