The GlassOuse Assistive Device allows you to operate any Bluetooth device hands-free. It’s ideal for people with disabilities who are unable to use their hands and arms. You can use it with your smartphone, your PC, tablet, or anything that has Bluetooth enabled.
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If like me, you have difficulty using your hands and arms it can be a struggle to operate a computer. Using a conventional mouse is not feasible. However assistive technology, like GlassOuse, can make using the mouse a breeze.
I first saw GlassOuse at Naidex a few years ago where I got to try it out. They were still trying to raise money for its development on Indiegogo at that stage. But I was so impressed by it that I decided to pledge money towards it, and I was one of the first people to start using one… and I haven’t been disappointed!
When the GlassOuse Assistive Device first came out there were a few problems with it. The biggest one I found was that the arms were not designed to fold so they were at risk of breaking if pushed too far.
Also, the Bite click has broken for me a couple of times and I had to buy a new one.
The latest version 1.2, however, has addressed both of these problems. The arms now can fold like a pair of glasses, which makes it much easier to transport them. Plus they are at less risk breaking. Also, the bite click now attaches to the glassouse by a 3.5 mm jack. This means that if it breaks I can just buy a new £30 bite click rather than having to buy a whole new £400 glassouse like I did with the previous version.
GlassOuse Assistive Device Pros
GlassOuse works with any Windows, LINUX and Android devices or even smart TVs that have Bluetooth enabled. It is incredibly easy to set up as it doesn’t need any software installing. You literally just have to enable Bluetooth, pair it up with the device and away you go. Simples!
Some types of hands-free mice, like SmartNAV, rely on infrared sensors, which can be affected by sunlight. Having a window directly opposite my computer means they don’t work very well when the sun shines. GlassOuse, however, does not have this problem.
It is not affected by sunlight as it works by Bluetooth not infrared, so I can have my room as bright as I want. The mouse movement is faster and more sensitive than other types of hands-free mice, plus it’s much easier and quicker to click. I can click by biting on the bite click shown in the photograph below. So as I can click by myself I don’t need to use additional clicking software such as Softype as much as I do without GlassOuse.
The GlassOuse is particularly good for playing on PC or smartphone games that require fast mouse movements. I can now play games like Age of Empires or Angry Birds easily. The swift movement of the mouse and the ease of clicking mean that I can respond quickly to events in the game.
Before I found GlassOuse I had no way of using my smartphone independently; I had to get a carer to do it for me. But now I can do anything on it myself such as taking a photo, browsing the Internet, or playing Angry Birds. It has literally opened up a world of possibilities that were previously out of bounds for me.
I can use Glassouse anywhere with my phone. I’ve used it in the garden, on the train, even on a plane.
I found GlassOuse to be much easier to use than SmartNAV, which I had used previously.
Have a look at the video below of me using my phone with the GlassOuse (Please excuse the unkempt beard):
GlassOuse Assistive Device Cons
Although I think the GlassOuse is great it does have some limitations.
Firstly, you can’t right-click with it. The bite click only acts as the left click function, so in order to right click I need to use clicking software like Softype or Dragon Naturally Speaking. GlassOuse and Softype work together well so it’s a pretty good, although not ideal solution. I have mentioned this to the company that makes GlassOuse and they said they are going to try to solve the problem in future versions.
Secondly, the GlassOuse sits on top of my glasses which in turn puts pressure on my nose, making it a bit sore after extended use. So I have to be careful not to use the GlassOuse for too many hours at a time to try to stop my nose getting sore.
The GlassOuse doesn’t work with Apple products because the source code wasn’t available for the company to use. Although this doesn’t bother me because I don’t have any.
The biggest problem I have with the glassouse is that the bite clicks don’t seem to last more than 2 to 3 months for me. I have bought 4 or 5 of them over the last few years and after about 3 months the plastic underneath the blue cover snaps, or the wiring inside breaks. It’s frustrating because it’s expensive buying replacements as they are shipped from China. I have emailed the company about this and they said they will inform their engineers, so hopefully, they will improve it.
The GlassOuse is, in my opinion, a very user-friendly device and it gives me a lot of independence.
It allows me to use my PC independently at home but also I can use my phone when I am out and about. It allows me to text people myself which in turn gives me privacy.
However the biggest and most frustrating problem is that they need to make the bite clicks more durable so that they last a lot longer than 3 months. I used the glassouse pretty much every day, until it broke, so if they could make it more durable then that would be fantastic.