We tried tecla-e from Komodo labs. It is a gadget that allows alternative access to mobile devices and it really works very well. One of its major strengths is that is highly configurable and thus is able to suit the requirements of many users. Let’s check it out!
Main features of tecla-e
The unit we received includes a multiple switch adapter, a USB charging cable, a getting started guide and the tecla-e device itself.
The main unit comes with two 3.5 mm (0.14 in) female jack switch connectors and a DB-9 male connector. The later is used to attach tecla-e to the wheelchair controls, to an external joystick or, as in our case, to an M16 switch adapter with which we can connect up to 6 switches in total.
The communication with the mobile device is done through a Bluetooth link. Very convenient to avoid additional wiring and to free the USB charging port of our smartphone or tablet. In our tests, the Bluetooth link proved to be extremely reliable, which is essential for the usage scenarios tecla-e is intended for. Furthermore, it can be connected to multiple devices simultaneously (up to eight) allowing the user to select one of them as needed. Neat!
As additional features, tecla-e includes a temperature sensor and GPS that allow for remote monitoring if necessary. It can also be connected to a WiFi network to control smart appliances.
Controlling a mobile device with tecla-e
To control a mobile device with tecla-e an accessibility service is required. Such a service usually implements a switch access scanning technique so that the regular user interface of the mobile device can be driven by just pressing switches or moving a joystick. Both iOS and Android operating systems provide switch-based access features.
For Android, we also have Ease Joypad that provides mouse-like access to the mobile device by using two or more switches or a joystick. With this app, most common gestures (e.g. tap, double-tap, drag, swipe, pinch, etc.) can be performed and it is compatible with the majority of applications and games. The acceleration and speed of the on-screen pointer can be tunned for a fast and precise access method.
The Tecla App
The tecla-e is complemented by the Tecla App which is available for iOS and Android. Apart from configuring some parameters of the tecla-e, the app allows the user to define custom shortcuts for fast access to common actions such as calling, changing the volume or controlling smart appliances thanks to its integrations with Alexa and IFTTT.
In conclusion, tecla-e has pleasantly surprised us due to its versatility and robustness when it comes to providing alternative access to a mobile device. A highly recommended product.