Qualcomm Is Making It Easier For Blind People to Use Touchscreens

Smartphones are changing the world and making it easier for all kinds of people to access information. Except for blind people, who miss out on several of the aspects of smartphones and touchscreens that make them so cool. Qualcomm, which produces the Snapdragon SoC that powers many Android phones, has built features for blind people that could make life significantly easier for the 285 million visually impaired people worldwide. Qualcomm is calling the software  “Project Ray,”  and it features a user interface that’s completely reconsidered from the point of view of a blind person. For instance, a user touches the screen, and that point becomes the starting point for other interactions with the device. The devices also use vibration to provide useful feedback. Currently, the UI can make calls, text with a vocal read-out, and do most social networking. Also, the Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped is making a lot of blind-accessible media available for download. Sounds like a good program.

The Project Ray handset is built on top of Android and is currently in testing in Israel.

The photo is courtesy of RedEyedRex.

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