Accessibility Technobabble


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Hello and welcome to the home of Techno and Babble.

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They're my new pets. You like?

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Who's a good little girl, then?

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Ugh! You'll get me all rusty. Come on, let's do this.

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Coming up today, Marcus is getting smart to improve his senses.

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I find it a little bit scary, actually.

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Shay's back with more Minecraft tips.

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You know how we all find Endermen terrifying? Right, guys.

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Plus, Jana is here, and she's feeling peckish.

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Food is amazing, and we all love eating at.

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But first, here's an animated Adam to get you all

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excited about the BBC micro:bit.

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No, I love you more. No, I...

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Oh, sorry, I was just talking to my bit on the side. Wahey!

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This is a micro:bit. What is it?

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Well, it's a computer. Yes, a real computer, but it can do anything.

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Well, almost anything.

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I mean, you can't go to the moon with it, but it is still cool.

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It has tons of features, like 25 LED lights that can show messages

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or even emojis. I'm still working on the poo face emoji.

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It has two buttons that you can programme to do different

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things, from controlling games to skipping songs on a playlist.

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It also has a built-in compass so it knows exactly which way

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you are pointing it, and it even has Bluetooth connectivity.

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Here, mate, just been playing with this micro:bit. It is well good.

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I've had a go at making this maze game.

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You have to try and get the flashing dot to the end of the maze

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without touching the sides. Just like this.

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Uh! Oh! Uh!

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-BEEPING

-Oh!

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Nice one, Marcus.

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-Anyway, as I was saying...

-What's up, boys?

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You know this micro: bit, yeah?

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Well, I've just made a rocket countdown timer.

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I was only trying to send a text, but managed to end up doing this.

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'Five, four, three, two, one.'

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GUITAR RIFF

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Woo! Rock and roll.

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Excuse me, Leila.

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As you can see, you can pretty much make anything. Even a guitar.

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There's loads of pre-codes and fun things on the micro:bit website.

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Have a go at creating your own, or you can even follow tutorials.

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There are three different ways to write your code,

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some harder than others.

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-But everything this lot have made is possible too.

-Even I can do it.

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Well, if Jake can micro:bit, then anyone can.

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All right, you lot, get out of my house, go on! Thanks, Adam.

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That was a micro:bit good. Hee!

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Now, I let Techno choose the name for the message app this week.

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Let's see what she went with.

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Catnipbook. Oh, dear. Wow.

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That's even worse than my past suggestions.

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Vlogster, how will technology help disabled people?

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Lovely question there, Nick.

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I need a sensitive soul for this one,

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but I don't think they are available, so Marcus will have to do.

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-Can I get you a drink, sir?

-Hi, I'll have a lemonade.

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No, I'll have a water. I'm sorry, I'm a bit nervous.

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I've got a date, and it is all a bit of a mystery.

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-I've just been told to bring this rose.

-Oh, how exciting.

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I'll get you a drink.

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-Hey, beautiful!

-Oh, go away, Vlogster.

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Not now. I've got a date.

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I know. Pucker up, beautiful!

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VLOGSTER LAUGHS

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God, no, thanks.

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I don't suppose you're going to pay for the dinner either?

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No time for food, Marcus. We have some techsploring to do.

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I'm sending Marcus to Oxford University to meet techspert

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Professor Stephen Hicks.

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He's a neuroscientist who has been working on a pair of glasses

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that are helping blind people to see.

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These look amazing, it looks like I can see through walls with these.

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You can't quite see through walls, but

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if you are partially sighted, these can show you where the walls are.

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And things like people, other things that you might bump into.

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Sounds like these could be potentially life-saving.

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What's it like for partially sighted people when they use these?

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A lot of people who are partially sighted have some sight left.

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Often it can be dark and cloudy,

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and you can mess with all the interesting details of the world.

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Is there anyway I can see what it is like to be partially sighted?

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If you want to try, we've got these here.

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These demonstrate a bit about what it's like

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for one type of blindness.

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I can see shapes, but I can't fully focus on anything.

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We use a central part of our vision to really work out what

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details are, to understand if that's a person you know, to see

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an expression, or to read text.

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I find it a little bit scary, actually.

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-So, shall I try these on now, then?

-Yes, sure.

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This'll put an image in the central part of your field of view.

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Wow. So straightaway I can see a lot more detail.

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For example, I can see your face, I can see your glasses.

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I can even see you smiling there as well, and nodding. Wow.

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Yes, hold a few things up. Let me guess. Five. All five of them.

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-Well done.

-Oh, Cheers.

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Everything in the background, there's less detail in it.

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-Yeah.

-Why is that?

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What we tried to do is focus on the things that are most important.

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And often that's the thing that is closest to you.

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We do that by dropping out all the stuff in the background,

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just focusing on stuff that is right there in front.

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I'd love to go out and about and try these smart specs.

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Yes, we've made these ones so they're really portable.

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It's got a battery pack so you can run around for about six hours.

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Let's do that. I'm well up for that.

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MUSIC: Theme from Jurassic Park

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Wow, this place is amazing. Why have you brought me here?

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To show you that this is a system that you can take outside.

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It is battery powered, so you can take it to a museum,

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-and kind of see more stuff.

-Awesome.

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I notice you have made some adjustments as well.

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That's right. This is like a sunglasses module.

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You can put that on the front. It darkens the background.

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You can pay more attention to what's on the screen.

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-Excellent, so I can focus more on what's going on.

-Yes.

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-Let's go check out some exhibits, then.

-Yes, let's have a look.

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All right, that way.

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I'm not actually seeing through the camera, am I?

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How do these work?

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No, see, you're just seeing what's on this display,

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-what's on the digital display inside your glasses themselves.

-Right.

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So, it's taking a representation of the outside world

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and making it really high contrast, so, getting rid of anything else,

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just focusing on something like a big word or a big obstacle.

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It's very fast video, so you should be able to, you know,

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react to things as quickly as normal,

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avoid things when you walk.

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I'm not sure if we can catch a ball yet,

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but, you know, we're working on that.

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I seem to pick up all the shapes.

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-Are you getting some round shapes?

-Mm-hmm.

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This is amazing. What can we expect from the future of this technology?

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It's an artificial intelligence,

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to let you know actually what you're looking at,

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and be able to help you find friends, help you understand,

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you know, if that's a bird, what's on the menu.

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We are testing that at the moment.

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I'll tell you what, that's amazing and this has been amazing as well.

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I cannot wait to see this out and about.

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I've lost her, look! Museum shop!

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Time to get some treats!

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I've got a treat for you

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and it doesn't involve novelty pencil rubbers.

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Now for a wheelchair user in the city.

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Swiss students have built a self-balancing wheelchair with

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a track that lowers to climb stairs.

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The inventors hope future versions will be able to master

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a step every second.

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Amazing! What else have you got for me?

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I give you the ReWalker exoskeleton - a wearable robotic suit.

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This tech skeleton helps people with spinal cord injuries

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to walk by controlling their hip and knee movements.

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The system senses subtle changes in the wearer's upper body

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so that walking, turning and climbing stairs happen freely.

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Next up, full-blown Iron Man suit with built-in forcefield,

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rocket shoes and a radar!

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-OK, maybe not.

-There's no maybe about it, Marcus!

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Babblers, did I tell you - I learnt to push over sheep the other week.

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SHEEP BLEATS

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No, not real sheep! Please never do that, it's madness and cruel!

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No, I'm talking about Minecraft sheep.

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And here's Chai to give us a compu-torial.

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Today I'm going to be teaching you some tips in Minecraft

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that you may or may not know.

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Number one - the torch trick.

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So, my least favourite thing in the world is

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when I'm looking for my favourite thing in the world, which is

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obviously diamonds, and I hit into sand or gravel.

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So, if you need to get rid of it quickly, just use a torch.

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If you knock out the bottom block of the stack of gravel or sand

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and you quickly placed the torch underneath,

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then the rest will disappear.

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Tip number two - how not to get scared.

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So, you know how we all find Endermen terrifying?

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Right, guys? It's not just me, right?

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Well, if you are terrified of them and you can't sleep at night because

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of them like me, then wear a pumpkin on your head

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when you go mining.

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If you have a pumpkin on your head, the Endermen won't attack you.

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You can even attack them without being attacked in return.

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Number three - you guys know how annoying it is when zombies try

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and break down your door?

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Well, to create a zombie-proof door,

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just raise the block that the door's on by one.

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Simple.

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Well, I hope you guys learned some new tricks today

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and now you can go and use them in your own Minecraft world.

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Thanks, Chai, buddy. Some tip-top top tips there.

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ALARM SOUNDS

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Oh...there's another alert from Catnipbook!

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Vlogster, could people ever walk on water or levitate?

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Ooh, I like how you just floated that one in! Let's see what I can find.

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Turns out researchers have been trying to find ways to help

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you humans for years, looking at animals that already walk on water.

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Like the basilisk lizard.

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These clever little reptiles slap their big fringed feet onto

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the water surface, creating pockets of air to help them stay afloat.

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One tiny problem - a lizard weighs about 200g, which is

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200 times lighter than the average Babbler.

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That means you'd have to run at 67mph, as fast as a cheetah,

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to stay dry.

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But some clever types in Malaysia have created a pool of water

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that people can actually run on.

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Someone has even cycled a bike over it. That's really good!

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The pool isn't filled with just water, though.

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It has 2,000 gallons stirred up with cornstarch.

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When they mix together, the forces of physics means the starch

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and water form a solid when pressure is applied.

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This is why the pool works so well if you run over the mixture,

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but this isn't quite WATER we're after.

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So, do you know it's possible for scientists to levitate a frog?

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Everything around you humans, including frogs,

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is made from tiny particles called atoms.

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When atoms are put in a magnetic field,

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some of the electrons inside them change the way they move around

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and means the frog is essentially made up of lots of tiny magnets, and

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it's this that can help small objects and animals like frogs to levitate.

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We're getting closer! Ribbet.

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In Japan, techsperts have recently developed a levitating train,

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which set a world speed record of 374mph.

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It's all down to magnets too.

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A special magnetised coil runs along the track

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and this repels big magnets on the train's undercarriage,

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making the train levitate ten centimetres above the track.

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And there we have it - a way you humans can levitate.

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Oh-h-h, sorry, viewers. I've missed my lunch.

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Well, I say "missed", what actually happened was that SOMEONE...

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was a very naughty boy and ate my sandwiches when my back was turned!

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No, don't look like that. They were my favourite, egg sandwiches.

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I should know, I keep smelling them on you. Ugh!

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Jana, talk to me.

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Hey, everyone.

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So, if there's one thing that we can all agree on,

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it's that food is amazing and we all love eating it.

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I'm going to tell you about some amazing apps all about food.

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Let's talk about Kitchen Stories.

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I love cooking, as you can tell, but sometimes finding great recipes,

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clear instructions and all the right ingredients can seem impossible.

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Kitchen Stories makes it easy.

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All you have to do is scroll through the recipes

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and choose one that looks extra delicious.

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There you'll find a video tutorial, all of the ingredients you'll need

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and you can add them to a shopping list.

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Then it's time for the hard part - the tasting.

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When you're cooking a meal, you probably have various pots

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and pans on the go, right?

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You'll need Thyme.

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This is a great app which in essence is a timer.

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But it also has options

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so that you can put separate timers for your pots, your pans

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and your oven so that you can run them all simultaneously,

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meaning that you should have perfect meals every time.

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Now, if you don't fancy cooking but you still love to eat great food,

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you'll love Food Spotting.

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It uses your location to show you the best dishes in your area,

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and it's all submitted by people who love food just like you.

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You can even join in by posting a great meal that you've spotted.

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Just take a picture of it and add the location to help

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the people in your area choose the most delicious option on the menu.

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Thank you, Miss Jana. Now, Babblers, try not to make a meal of things.

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Remember, don't download apps without permission. Tasty.

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Just before we go, and I make another lunch, thank you,

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here's a Babble Buster for you.

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M is for meatspace.

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Meatspace is slang for the real world, the opposite of cyberspace,

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where you do things with your body rather than the keyboard.

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The phrase was first used in cyberpunk novels

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and fanzines that were popular in the 1980s.

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For true computer geeks who spend a lot of time in cyberspace, the idea

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of hanging out in meatspace with other humans is a scary prospect.

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Right, someone needs a walkie.

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VLOGSTER'S DOG BARKS

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No, I mean me! See you soon!

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Next time on Technobabble - Frankie is on a high

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when he investigates some mega transport.

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Jake's back and he's looking at some more phone games!

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And Paul builds his part to bring the best of construction games.

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The Vlogster is back, bursting through the bits and bytes of the online world to bring the best tech stories to CBBC.

Marcus is getting smart to improve his senses, and he visits Oxford University to try out a brand new headset that is helping visually impaired people to see. And vlogger Chai reports in with more magnificent Minecraft tips.

A truly animated Adam is back to take a look at a small but powerful personal computer - the BBC micro:bit! And Jana is feeling peckish as she gets her teeth into the latest food apps.

Plus, the Vlogster attempts to answer the question, 'Could people ever walk on water, or levitate?'. And he lifts the lid on more tech jargon with his Babblebuster.


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