Blind or visually impaired must often use a several devices to accomplish tasks that sighted people take for granted in a single smartphone, so Qualcomm is collaborating with Project to unify calls and text messaging with voice recognition, text-to-speech functionality, navigation services, and object recognition in an integrated interdependent system built around the vanilla Android installations found on any Android device.
For instance, users will navigate around the OS via a series of specially-tailored finger movements and starting from any point on the display rather than having to locate specific icons. Vibration can be exploited to provide tactile feedback as users go about their cyber tasks, and the UI utilises learning algorithms to recognise and optimize a user’s custom mode of operation. There are lots of similarities with hyper-tweaked multi-touch mousepad customizations – three quick taps followed by a circular swipe to gostraight to your homepage, and so forth.
Ray devices can already draw on Israel’s Central Library for the Blind, and the assistive technology is being road-tested by 100 partially-sighted or blind users.