With eyesight failing, CEO hurries to make voice-enabled tech mainstream

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Chris Maury leads the charge towards smarter voice-enabled technology.
Chris Maury leads the charge towards smarter voice-enabled technology.
Photo: Conversant Labs

Cult of Mac 2.0 bug When Chris Maury tried helping an elderly blind woman use voice commands on an iPad, she thanked him but said, “I just wish Siri could read me the news.”

Maury understood her frustration. He, too, was losing his vision and could foresee a struggle to remain productive using the visual interfaces common on all computing devices.

Smart scale slims down even the devs who program it

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The folks at The Orange Chef prepare lunch in their San Francisco offices. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The Orange Chef's Claire McClendon, left, and Amy Wu lead lunch prep at the company's San Francisco offices. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — James Armstrong might be one of the few iOS engineers who loses weight while on a coding bender.

Armstrong is lead developer at The Orange Chef Co., the company behind a smart kitchen scale called Prep Pad. It weighs your food and, based on the nutritional profile you set, gives you a more accurate idea of how much you should eat. While working on a companion iPad app called Countertop, Armstrong beta tested his meals and realized how super-sized they were. So he cut the portions and shed 30 pounds.

“I had to buy new clothes twice,” he says.”I bought a bunch of clothes, then I had to buy ’em again — it’s made that much difference.”