I have created this kit to enable you to assemble a dedicated device for using the The vOICe and get a head mounted setup.
Traditionally, you would have to get a netbook running Microsoft Windows with video glasses. This setup is significantly more compact and is more customizable. In theory, it is also less expensive. Moreover, netbooks are no longer on the market.
I am assuming that you are using a computer running Microsoft Windows. You are free to use any other operating system but I do not have instructions for installing the device driver with that operating system. I understand that Linux does not need a device driver.
- Get all the components as listed in the bill of materials at the end of this post.
- Insert the EMC module at the bottom of the ODROID. It will line up and snap fit. If you are not mechanically minded, get a sighted assistant to help.
- Place the ODROID board such that the USB ports are on your left and are away from you. This will place the Ethernet port on the right of the board.
- Connect an Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port and connect the other end to your router or switch.
- Insert the dongle from the keyboard into one of the USB ports.
- Connect the USB cable to the micro USB slot. This is on the bottom left of the board and connect the other end to a USB port on your computer.
- If you like, connect the micro HDMI cable to the board. The HDMI port is ahead of the Micro USB port towards the USB ports.
- Connect a pair of speakers or headphones to the ODROID. The headphone jack is below the Ethernet port on the right of the board.
- Connect the power supply to the board. The power jack is next to the 3 USB ports.
- Download and install the ODROID driver for Microsoft Windows. If you are using Windows 8, please follow the relevant instructions. If you are a screen reader user, then see the comments in this post . There is a way to accomplish the same thing via editing group policies.
- Download and install the Android SDK. Don’t worry, we only need one file from this big download but this is the easiest way to get this file.
- Warning: in this step, you may drop the board therefore please be careful because the board is lighter than the power supply. Plug in the power supply.
- Monitor the audio output of your computer. It should give you a notification that a new device has been detected.
- Install the device drivers for the ODROID.
- Check that the Android Debug Bridge can see the ODROID by typing adb devices at a command prompt. If it can, continue to the next step. If it cannot, then troubleshoot.
- Side-load the vOICe and other accessibility components by following the instructions for Google Glass on the vOICe for Android page.
- Install Google Play by following the forum post titled Installing Google Apps The advantage with Google play is that you can update the vOICe and other components automatically. This step is not necessary though because you are running a dedicated machine and you can update the vOICe manually.
At this point, you should have a talking beeping Android board. Use the Riitek keyboard to control it or you can attach any other USB keyboard.
Here is a list of keystrokes that will let you move around the Android interface. This is stock Android and you are root by default.
Thanks to Dennis Long for these instructions.
- to swipe left alt shift left arrow.
- to swipe right alt shift right arrow.
- to swipe down alt shift down arrow.
- to swipe up alt shift up arrow.
- to open notifications alt shift n.
- to open recent apps alt shift r.
- to select what is highlighted alt shift enter.
Once you have everything connected, it is time to connect the camera. Insert the camera’s USB cable into a USB port on the ODROID while the board is running. You will be prompted to select the application you want to run when this device is connected. Select the vOICe and make it the default if you like. This way, the vOICe will launch whenever the camera is connected and you need not do anything else.
Do test the battery pack before you mount everything. I have listed the one I use but any battery pack that gives an output of 5 Volts and 2 Amperes should work.
Warning: you may not be able to charge the battery while the oDROID is running. This is because during charging, the pack provides only 1 ampere.
See my post titled powering the oDroid u3 with ALLPOWERS 50000mAh Double USB 3 for a discussion on this.
Mounting the Camera
Once you have confirmed that the equipment is working, you need to head mount the camera. As of this writing, the go pro head strap is the best option. It is possible to customize the mounting mechanism and it is up to you if you want to use the go pro head strap, a hat or something else.
Note: The correct orientation of the camera is to have the USB cable slot at the bottom.
- Screw in the mounting bracket which is the handle like bit of plastic into either side of the camera housing. This bracket is what will allow you to adjust the inclination of the camera.
- Stick the mounting bracket to the front plate of the go pro strap. This is the plate with the horizontal mount on it. Do not use the base plate as a support because you will not be able to adjust the angle of inclination of the camera.
- Make a u-shape of the USB cable and insert it between your head and the strap and bring it to where-ever you want.
- Test the setup and align the camera if necessary.
Finalizing the setup
Place the board in the hard plastic case and connect everything. You can run all the wires in a sheath and then connect them to the ODROID. You could reduce the wires by one by using wireless headphones but that would mean buying a Bluetooth dongle and pairing the phones.
I run most of the cables from inside my clothing to the waist pouch. This keeps the wires out of the way and is unobtrusive.
It is up to you if you want to use a waist pouch, a shoulder bag, a purse, your jacket pockets to store the setup.
You power up the setup by connecting it to the battery pack and if the camera is plugged in, the vOICe will launch and you are good to go. If the camera is not connected, then connect the camera and launch the vOICe. If you need to power off the device, hold down the power button in the case and choose the power off option.
The tab key helps you navigate most screen elements. If the tab key fails, use the arrow keys and for touch screen like navigation, see the keystrokes I have given.
When mounting, consider heat dissipation. The ODROID can get quite hot. The same applies to the camera but this will not affect you because the camera is a little away from your forehead.
Warning, as of this writing, I do not have a way to detect the charge of the battery. I am working on a solution and will update this page when one is available.
Bill of materials
|The ODROID U3||The core of the Kit. This is the board that runs Android.|
|The ODROID U3 Hard Case||The plastic case to enclose the ODROID U3 to keep the board protected.|
|8GB eMMC||The storage module containing Android. You can get one with more capacity for a higher price.|
|HDMI Cable (Micro, Type D)||A cable to connect the ODROID to a monitor.|
|Micro USB Cable||A cable used to connect the ODROID to a computer. This is crucial if you want to side-load the vOICe. The device shows up as an Android tablet.|
|USB-DC Plug Cable 2.5×0.8mm||A cable to connect the ODROID to a battery pack.|
|A 5V/2A power supply||To run the ODROID from mains power while setup, updating etc.|
|ELP-USB100W03M-F170||A camera that gives a wide angle view of almost 170 degrees.|
|Riite Mini Keybo||A keyboard with a dedicated dongle, allowing you to control the solution when running headless. No pairing required.|
|The go pro head strap||To head mount the camera.|
|ALLPOWERS™ 50000mAh Double USB 3.5A output Power Bank||To power the setup.|
|Fevitite||An adhesive to stick the camera to the go pro head strap|
|USB extension cable||To help extend the cable of the camera for connection to the ODROID which may be in a bag etc.|