Tags ‘Blind’

Facebookā€™s iOS app uses AI and VoiceOver to describe the contents of photos to blind users

At a time when so many Facebook posts comprise a photo and a brief comment, there’s one group of people who get rather left out of the picture: those who are blind and partially sighted. That’s a problem Facebook is fixing, starting from today. The iOS app now uses artificial intelligence to figure out the content of photos, and Apple’s VoiceOver feature to read aloudĀ a description of them.

The Verge got a demo of the feature, which Facebook calls ‘automatic alt text.’

Automatic alt text, which is coming to iOS today and later to Android and the web, recognizes objects in photos using machine learning […] While still in its early stages, the technology can reliably identify concepts in categories including transportation (“car,” “boat,” “airplane”), nature (“snow,” “ocean,” “sunset”), sports (“basketball court”), and food (“sushi”). The technology can also describe people (“baby,” “smiling,” beard”), and identify a selfie.

Facebook said that there were two approaches it could have taken to the problem, and it chose the one it believed would be most successful …

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Filed under: Apps Tagged: accessibility, automatic alt text, blind, Blind people, Facebook, VoiceOver

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Ben Lovejoy

April 5th

Apple

Mac

Be My Eyes iPhone app allows sighted people to lend a helping hand to blind people

The National Federation of the Blind said last year that Apple has “done more for accessibility than any other company,” and with the help of a new app, iPhone and iPad owners can take things even further. Be My Eyes is an app that allows blind people to request remote help from a sighted person when needed.

Requests for help might range from checking the expiry date on a container of milk to looking atĀ an airport departure board for a gate number …Ā 

Sighted people who are willing to lend a hand install the app and will then get alerts when help is requested.

As soon as the first sighted user accepts the request for help a live audio-video connection will be set up between the two and the sighted user can tell the blind person what she sees when the blind user points his phone at something using the rear-facing camera.

If you’re too busy to help, it’s no problem: the request is automatically rotated through sighted users until one of them accepts. At the time of writing, the app had already assisted blind people on almost 12,000 occasions.

Tim Cook has spoken eloquently on the priority he gives to equality and accessibility, and went as far as telling a lobbying group for investors to “get out of this stock” if it considered environmental concerns and making Apple devices accessible to disabled users to be a waste of money.

Both blind and sighted users can download the free app from iTunes.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apps Tagged: accessibility, Apple Inc, Be My Eyes, blind, Commit random acts of kindness, Disabilities, disabled, Kindness

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Photo

Ben Lovejoy

January 21st

Apple

Mac

This Headset Uses Sound To Navigate Blind People Through Cities

Using substitute senses for visually impaired people isn't a new idea ā€” even putting aids into hi-tech glasses isn't new . But this project takes things a step further, piping in relevant information straight into the wearer's skull.

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Photo

Chris Mills

November 7th

Uncategorized

These Five Ideas for Smarter Cities Just Won Millions in Funding

These Five Ideas for Smarter Cities Just Won Millions in Funding

Ever since he left his post as the ban-happy mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg has been very busy taking his urban revitalization show on the road. Today, his philanthropy announced the winners of his annual Mayors Challenge, with five bright ideas for cities addressing issues from aging to civic engagement.

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Alissa Walker

September 19th

Uncategorized

These Smartshoes Help the Blind Navigate City Streets

These Smartshoes Help the Blind Navigate City Streets

Wearable technology is a pretty busy buzzword these days, but some of the coolest inventions take the idea well beyond some gadget that lets you read email on your wrist. Wearable technology can actually be life-changing for some people. Consider, for instance, what these shoes can do for the blind.

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Adam Clark Estes

March 4th

Uncategorized

These Synthesia Glasses Help Blind People ā€œSeeā€ Via Sonar

These Synthesia Glasses Help Blind People ā€œSeeā€ Via Sonar

People who have been blind since a young age can sometimes learn to develop a sort of low-grade echolocation. This technique, used by the likes of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Ronnie Milsap, and Ben Underwood, works much the same way as it does in bats and dolphins. But people who have just recently lost their sight can't harness this ability innately. They need the vOICe to do it for them.

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Andrew Tarantola

July 12th

Uncategorized

These Synthesia Glasses Help Blind People ā€œSeeā€ Via Sonar

These Synthesia Glasses Help Blind People ā€œSeeā€ Via Sonar

People who have been blind since a young age can sometimes learn to develop a sort of low-grade echolocation. This technique, used by the likes of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Ronnie Milsap, and Ben Underwood, works much the same way as it does in bats and dolphins. But people who have just recently lost their sight can't harness this ability innately. They need the vOICe to do it for them.

Read more...

    


Comments Off on These Synthesia Glasses Help Blind People ā€œSeeā€ Via Sonar

Photo

Andrew Tarantola

July 12th

Uncategorized

Amazon updates Kindle iOS app with new accessibility features, VoiceOver support for the visually impaired

Kindle-iOS-icon-logoAmazon announced today that it is updating its Kindle mobile apps, starting with an update to the Kindle iOS app,to include new accessibility features for the blind and visually impaired. The updated app now includes VoiceOver support and new accessibility features, the addition of the Hiragino Mincho ProN (Serif) font selection for Japan, and an enhancement to the app’s ‘Before you go’ feature that now offers “the ability to download a free sample and email yourself a reminder about recommended books.”

A full list of newĀ accessibilityĀ features available in today’s update below:

  • Read aloud over 1.8 million titles available in theĀ Kindle StoreĀ using Appleā€™s VoiceOver technology. Over 300,000 of these books are exclusive to theĀ Kindle Store. Over 900,000 books are less thanĀ $4.99; over 1.5 million are less thanĀ $9.99.
  • Seamlessly navigate within their library or within a book, with consistent title, menu and button names; navigate to a specific page within a book and sort books in the library by author or title.
  • Read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously, as well as move forward or backward in the text.
  • Search for a book within their library or search within their book and navigate to specific text.
  • Add and delete notes, bookmarks, and highlights.
  • Use customer-favorite features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing onĀ FacebookĀ and Twitter.
  • Look up words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.
  • Customize the reading experience including changing the font, text size, background color, margin, and brightness.
  • Use iOS accessibility features like Zoom, Assistive Touch, and Stereo to Mono, as well as peripheral braille displays.

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Photo

Jordan Kahn

May 1st

Apple

Mac

Amazon updates Kindle iOS app with new accessibility features, VoiceOver support for the visually impaired

Kindle-iOS-icon-logoAmazon announced today that it is updating its Kindle mobile apps, starting with an update to the Kindle iOS app,to include new accessibility features for the blind and visually impaired. The updated app now includes VoiceOver support and new accessibility features, the addition of the Hiragino Mincho ProN (Serif) font selection for Japan, and an enhancement to the app’s ‘Before you go’ feature that now offers “the ability to download a free sample and email yourself a reminder about recommended books.”

A full list of newĀ accessibilityĀ features available in today’s update below:

  • Read aloud over 1.8 million titles available in theĀ Kindle StoreĀ using Appleā€™s VoiceOver technology. Over 300,000 of these books are exclusive to theĀ Kindle Store. Over 900,000 books are less thanĀ $4.99; over 1.5 million are less thanĀ $9.99.
  • Seamlessly navigate within their library or within a book, with consistent title, menu and button names; navigate to a specific page within a book and sort books in the library by author or title.
  • Read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously, as well as move forward or backward in the text.
  • Search for a book within their library or search within their book and navigate to specific text.
  • Add and delete notes, bookmarks, and highlights.
  • Use customer-favorite features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing onĀ FacebookĀ and Twitter.
  • Look up words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.
  • Customize the reading experience including changing the font, text size, background color, margin, and brightness.
  • Use iOS accessibility features like Zoom, Assistive Touch, and Stereo to Mono, as well as peripheral braille displays.

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Photo

Jordan Kahn

May 1st

Apple

Mac

Crazy Brain Implants Give Lab Rats a Sixth Sense and Let Them “Touch” Light

It's not every day that science and crazy brain implants lead to the generation of what is essentially a new sense, but it is that day today. Scientists from Duke University have found a way to make rats "feel" invisible infrared light and someday that same tech could give sight to the blind, or give us humans extras senses for fun. More »


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Photo

Eric Limer

February 14th

Uncategorized
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