Simplified phone ‘home’ screen for older people, and for people with visual impairment (and even for anyone who dislikes numerous phone icons).
When a user photographs an object, and then taps the on-screen image of the photographed object, the app will read aloud the object's colour.
Recognises currency, and speaks the denomination, enabling people with a visual impairment or blindness to identify and count banknotes.
App to help people to read who have lost their central vision, for example through Macular Disease.
“The MD_evReader is a free app for the iPad or Android tablets, which has been developed to help people with a central vision loss read. It presents text from eBooks in a scrolling stream across the screen, in a similar way to a news ticker or a display board on a train. The app is designed for those people who use Eccentric Viewing (EV) and/or steady eye strategies for reading. Some people with macular degeneration may find it useful as a reading aid, or as a way of practising the Eccentric Viewing and steady eye techniques.
The line of text scrolls horizontally from left to right and the reader aims to hold their gaze away from the line to view it with their best region of vision. The trackpad is used to control the speed of the text.
In order to read with the MD_evReader you might need to eccentrically fixate so that you have a good piece of vision through which you are able to view the slowly scrolling text. Try holding your vision still (steady eye) and let the text move. Both Eccentric Viewing and the steady eye strategies take practice but can be well worth the effort.”
The MD_evReader is intended for people with macular degeneration who use the Eccentric Viewing and/or steady eye strategies and may not be for everyone. Reading in this way will require some practice and familiarity with Eccentric Viewing. The app works with any ePub document but may not work with eBooks that are under copyright, due to publishers’ restrictions. The app will only upload eBooks that do not have ‘DRM’ encryption, such as out of copyright books and those from small publishers. You can find books from gutenberg.org or torbooks.co.uk or by searching for ‘DRM free eBooks’.”
“myEyes is a technology ecosystem through which we create “blind compliant” zones, that is, zones adapted for people with vision problems.
It is a pioneering system through which the mobile phone speaks to the person…narrating what is around while giving guidance on how to get from one point to another.
NaviLens is a navigation and labelling app especially designed for blind and partially sighted users.
NaviLens tags are used across the world:
NaviLens tags can be read aloud simply by pointing your phone in the general direction of that tag. It’s free and easy to use. The app works on both the Android and Apple operating systems and is completely accessible.”
“Some companies are incorporating NaviLens tags into their packaging and onto their directional signage. A NaviLens tag can help customers to access product ingredients and cooking instructions, prices and special offers, and help users to navigate around a building or even identify a transport stop or timetable. For World Sight Day, RNIB partnered with Kellogg's to include accessible information on cereal boxes using NaviLens tags.
Across the world, NaviLens is being used to make cities smarter and more inclusive and to allow users to interact more easily with their environment, in places such as subway stations, bus stops and museums or public buildings……The app can detect your native language and read information to you in that language, so a Spanish sign would be translated and relayed instantly in English or any one of 24 languages.” Royal National Institute of Blind People, UK charity | https://bit.ly/3nj6X1c
Information and support for patients, carers and clinicians dealing with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO).
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In addition to native VoiceOver ability, you can modify font size and font thickness with accessibility settings.”The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation, the US-based charity which created the app | http://bit.ly/2RLAOMv
App designed for people with visual impairments to describe in sound what the phone camera `sees’.
“Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a while now, the main AI technology to reach the visual impairment market is the talking camera.
Broadly, AI means that computers interpret the information they receive and tailor their responses based on our behaviour. You may already be familiar with apps such as TapTapSee and VocalEyes, but Microsoft’s Seeing AI (currently only available on Apple devices) is a cut above the rest.
Seeing AI combines the functionality of these predecessors with that of optical character recognition (OCR) apps that scan and read text aloud.
The free, easy-to-use app can scan and read formatted text, learn and recognise faces, scan barcodes to identify products, and interpret general scenes.
The range of features and its accuracy are remarkable – but what impresses me most is the simple, intuitive way in which the app is controlled.
With my previous favourite OCR app, you had to hold the phone above a document and then capture it by pressing a shutter button with your other hand: no mean feat, even for the most dextrous of us. If you didn’t capture the whole document, tough. You got what you snapped.
With Seeing AI, however, you receive verbal hints that tell you whether the camera can see the entire document. And there is no need to wrestle with your phone to keep it steady while hitting the shutter button: the app automatically takes the photo for you.
If you think that the scene description mode is good, then wait until you try the facial recognition setting! Not only can Seeing AI learn familiar faces, but it will also interpret moods and predict ages. This last feature could offend the more sensitive subject, but it proved quite accurate when I tried it at home (much to my wife’s chagrin).
The product scanner is a great help in the supermarket too. For me, zapping the barcode will mean the end of buying apple sauce when I want mustard, or spearmint when I want peppermint.
Later versions of the app also include banknote detection, handwriting recognition, and modes to gauge light levels or identify colours.
As ever, the app is not perfect, but it is rapidly becoming the must-have app of the year.”Matt Harrison, Technology Services Manager at The Beacon Centre, writing in a blog from the Macular Society, a UK charity fighting to end sight loss caused by macular disease. |
App to help people with visual needs to navigate safely while walking
“Microsoft Australia and Vision Australia have announced the availability of Soundscape, a new application that empowers people who are blind or have low vision to explore the world around them through a 3D audio experience.
Soundscape uses 3D audio and location awareness to provide users with information about their surroundings to help build a mental map of what’s around them. By setting an audio beacon on a chosen destination or a familiar landmark, a user will always be able to keep track of where that location is as they make their way there. The app will also call out roads, intersections, and landmarks as a user walks past.
By wearing a stereo headset plus Soundscape, people who are blind or have low vision can explore the outdoor world with greater independence. With the 3D audio technology, the sounds are perceived as coming from the direction of the point of interest, so the user can build an image of what’s around from the sounds in the environment and the information coming from the Soundscape app.
Unlike traditional navigation apps that provide turn by turn directions, Soundscape helps users build an appreciation of the space as they move through it, empowering them to make their own navigational choices while at the same time enhancing their overall experience.
Used in combination with traditional mobility aids, like canes and dogs, a person with low or no vision can get from A to B and gain an appreciation of their surroundings on the journey – particularly if the environment is an unfamiliar one.
“Soundscape gives me confidence in an outside environment, by helping me understand what’s around me – whether it’s a restaurant, café, railway station, walking bike/track, park, business or even a street name. It allows me to build a mental map of my neighbourhood,” said David Woodbridge, Access Technology Advisor, Vision Australia.
“Rather than dictate what I should do, it allows me to make my own decisions based on the information it is providing, meaning I am always in control. For me, it really is about feeling stress free when I’m out and about. The app is easy to use and I have my own personal markers set for different locations. My local coffee shop is always a priority and the ‘coffee shop’ marker on Soundscape gets a lot of use.”
…The intention of Soundscape is not to replace aids such as a dog guide or cane, but to enable a user to more naturally and intuitively connect with their environment without disrupting their ability to attend to other tasks, activities, or interactions with other people.
To this end, the product development group in Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research (AI&R) team have been working directly with Vision Australia’s Orientation and Mobility team for the last six months to have them test and integrate the use of Soundscape in their work with clients.”Vision Australia, the not for profit organisation providing services to support people who are blind or have low vision. | http://bit.ly/2yLpHMg
Relies upon the phone's camera (along with digital filters) to allow a user to experience the symptoms of eye disease, and to see the world through the simulated eyes of a person experiencing one of nine degenerative eye conditions.
Allows a visually-impaired user to put specific questions to sighted people, and then receive spoken answers from them in nearly real-time (sometimes in less than 30 seconds).
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