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Georgie: Smartphone For the Blind and Visually Impaired

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the equal-opportunity dept.

Android 77

hypnosec writes "A specially designed smartphone for the visually impaired or partially sighted has been launched in the UK. The device, dubbed Georgie, has many special features including a voice-assisted touch screen and apps that will allow for easy completion of day-to-day tasks like catching a bus, reading printed text and pinpointing a location. Designed by a blind couple, Roger and Margaret Wilson-Hinds, and named after Mrs Wilson-Hind's guide dog, the smartphone is powered by the Android operating system and uses handsets like Samsung XCover and Galaxy Ace 2, notes the BBC. The main reason for developing such a phone, according to the couple, was that they wanted to get the technology across to people with very little or no sight. 'It's exactly the type of digital experience we want to make easily available to people with little or no sight,' said Roger."

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77 comments

Here's an Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40658881)

Is there a smartphone for submitters who can't write a coherent or properly constructed English sentence to save their lives?

Re:Here's an Idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40658915)

Who cares about a fucking Smartphone. Children are starving in Africa and you give a shit about a fucking Smartphone? Fuck you. Instead of shooting electron beams at a Smartphone to see what happens these scientists should be in the wheat fields growing food for starving children in 3rd world countries. First world fuckers like yourself are decadent faggots who care more about a Smartphone than humans. Those same starving children probably mined the Smartphone for you so you could play with it in your lab. Fuckers.

Re:Here's an Idea (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40659047)

Hi. I'm a computer scientist who spent a few months volunteering in rural Africa. You know what I saw? Cell phones everywhere. Those starving kids can barely feed themselves, but they have a cell phone. You see, the cell phone connects them to their father who moved to the city to earn enough to feed them, and with the cell phone, they pay about 10 cents a week to periodically call him and say what they need. Then he goes to market, buys a sack of rice, some spices, and whatever else they can afford, and makes the day-long trek back to the village to feed his family. In previous decades, the communication wouldn't be possible, so the family would gamble on how long they could stretch food until the father was scheduled to return, If they guessed too long, they run out of food, and have to go hungry (or pay higher local prices) until the father came back. If they guessed too short, the father makes extra trips (which cost about a full day's wage).

Granted, the starving families didn't often have smartphones, but they did have old Nokia models and cheap Chinese phones. Smartphones weren't even that big in America while I was there, so I'd expect to find a good number of them in Africa now. First-world technology doesn't just stay in the first world. Like everything other technology, it spreads across the globe, generally improving lives.

So now I ask, what are you doing about the problem of starving children in Africa? Trolling on Slashdot won't help them, nor will throwing insults at your fellow man. In fact, that haste to insult is exactly part of the problem: There is plenty of food in most areas of Africa, with massive surpluses in some regions. Due to tribal and religions politics, the trade is severely restricted. In some cases, children are trained from birth to hate people from other tribes, and that the other tribes don't deserve to have possessions. When these children grow up, they're the perpetrators of the genocides, crop burnings, and highway robberies that disrupt the distribution of food.

Let's lead by example. Support endeavors for their merits, and respect all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, age, or any other criteria. Let's just try to play nice, and help those we can, either directly or indirectly.

Re:Here's an Idea (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659105)

I click facebook like buttons to feed them

Re:Here's an Idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659491)

FarmVille is not real.

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659247)

Africa is its own worst enemy. They need to figure out how to overthrow their local dictators. Then and only then will their situation improve.

not only that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659525)

...learn to use a condom or swallow a birth control pill.

Re:not only that... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40660545)

It's not like they have to pay for those...

Re:not only that... (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40661615)

When I was there, condoms ran about 15 cents each, which was the price of a small meal for one person from a street vendor. They were sold in boxes with porn on the package.

Birth control pills were only rarely available, because you had to find a doctor who would actually support their use. Unfortunately a few unscrupulous Christian missionaries have managed to spread misinformation about the rates of side effects.

Re:Here's an Idea (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40659781)

What local dictators should be overthrown, and who should replace them? A foreign leader won't be accepted by the locals, and a local will have the same millennia-long history of tribal politics swaying their decisions. Sure, you could go for that silly "democracy" thing, but who will run the elections? More locals who have been taught that the tribe is more important than the nation?

No, the first step is acceptance of each other, and more reliable distribution of resources. After that, the tribes can live together without competing, and from there peace can grow.

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659393)

Trolling on Slashdot won't help them, nor will throwing insults at your fellow man

No amount Slashdot +1 Likes will help them either.

Re:Here's an Idea (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40659811)

True, but I didn't write the post for the mods. I wrote it because it pisses me off to see a troll talking about the starving kids in Africa that he's never seen and really doesn't care about. I wrote it mostly to blow off a bit of steam and partly to express what I saw firsthand.

However, the +1 mods do help to spread ideas. Currently my comment is the only +5 on this article, and that puts it on the RSS feed and in AlterSlash, too. Maybe, just maybe, someone will read it and decide to do something more meaningful to help, like volunteer for Peace Corps or even just be a friendlier person. Here's hoping.

Re:Here's an Idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40660919)

Oh look, another spoilt brat who did a gap year in darkest Africa and thinks he's an expert on the plight of a continent.

Who passively-aggressively shouts at people to be friendlier. Who eschews competition while proudly announcing how his comment was the only +5.

I don't have a solution to Africa, but I know that it needs fewer dilettante dabblers who think of it as something to round out your karma/CV. If you're interested in helping, get a qualification relevant to helping developing countries. Either go live+work there for a few years or shake up the politic of the developed world that's damaging the continent. Then you're welcome to speak dickishly to those without a clue - although I don't think you then would, as this path would require a dose of humility that you don't have.

Contrast:

One of my cousins: Studied for 6 years to be an agricultural engineer specialising in irrigation, contributing to projects in South America while living there. Has also given talks before various EU bodies. Has never pronounced a "you're all ignorant and what you need to do is...!" to anyone.

Sarten-X: A computer scientist who spent "several months volunteering in Africa", and now pontificates on Slashdot.

He came from Greece, he had a thirst for knowledge...

Re:Here's an Idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661389)

Why do you so badly wish death and pain upon African children?

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40662599)

Oh look, another Slashdot AC troll who thinks a handful of paragraphs explains a person.

My opinion of African politics comes mostly from the collective opinions of a group of Peace Corps volunteers I met, who had all been in their projects at least a year already. I asked them why it seemed so hard to get anything done in my own project, and they explained the political problems they'd run into. The next few months reaffirmed what they'd said, to the point where I saw a small labor dispute (where one tradesman refused to work with a tradesman from another tribe) erupt into violence, with shootings in both tribes' areas of the city.

I get a little annoyed when people claim that the solution to wasted resources is to dump in more resources, rather than fix the mismanagement of what's already there. You can go ahead and assume you understand my motivations and my character, and I'll continue to assume you're just a jackass.

Your cousin seems nice, though.

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659413)

what are you doing about the problem of starving children in Africa?

By not directly contributing to the problems caused by supplying free food, medicine, etc.

Re:Here's an Idea (3, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40659721)

Those problems really depend on what organizations you're dealing with. I was volunteering with an organization that collected school supplies. I brought a whole suitcase of miscellaneous supplies, and it went right into the storage closet at the school I was teaching in. I brought some food, too, which I cooked up personally and brought to an end-of-term party for the students, supplementing their rice-and-peanuts lunch with a small bowl of macaroni and cheese.

The majority of "free stuff" problems come from charities that don't actually have people on the ground managing the whole project end-to-end. Some American charity will gather cans of food, ship them to some government contact, and that corrupt contact will just take the food and hand it out however he wants (according to the aforementioned tribal and familial prejudices), maybe being considerate enough to forge a nice letter from a local chief.

In contrast, one well-known organization whose volunteers I met was Peace Corps. Their volunteers are dropped alone into some of the worst-off villages, with some survival gear (water purifier, first aid supplies, and whatever region-specific resources they need), project plans (for projects like preparing farmland, building granaries, or digging wells) and access to liaisons for anything else they need. Typically, the village chiefs have worked for years to get a volunteer, so their work is almost always greatly appreciated by the locals, and especially the ones who look past the politics toward the future of the village. I was told a story about a female Peace Corps volunteer who was attacked, and the chief lined up everyone in the village for her to pick out the attacker.

That's the kind of organization that does the most good: where the entire process is under the supervision of people with nothing to gain, and the "handouts" don't start until the entire local society is heavily invested. Then there's enough riding on the project's success that the local tribal chiefs will be honestly supportive, and the villagers won't disappoint the chiefs. There's still no guarantee of absolute success, but at least the local politics will work in the project's favor.

Re:Here's an Idea (2)

don.g (6394) | about 2 years ago | (#40659877)

Would you deny a meal to a starving person standing in front of you because it will contribute to other problems? How is it different if you deny it from a distance?

Okay so some aid is misdirected/misused/etc -- but that's no reason to throw your hands in the air, say the problem is too hard, and ignore it completely.

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659867)

Umm, I don't disagree with you on any point but its still off topic.

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40659907)

So now I ask, what are you doing about the problem of starving children in Africa?

I do believe children and adults starve in other places besides Africa. Unless you mean this rhetorically, this smacks too much of First World guilt. Better for me would be this: what are you doing about that starving homeless person down the street? If it's his choice or his fault, then leave him alone. If not, then handing him a sandwich or a blanket would be doing just as much good as sending over money to some far-off country without knowing if it would be spent to buy food or medicine or just pocketed by some greedy warlord who uses bullets for jewelry.

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

Confusador (1783468) | about 2 years ago | (#40660889)

GP was responding to a particularly stupid point by an AC, and just used the AC's example for rhetorical efficacy. Now, if you want to tell the original troll that he was being narrow minded, be my guest.

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40661777)

Okay, that clears up things. I retract what I said about First World guilt tripping. Still I think focusing on the starving people in Africa misses the point that there are starving people everywhere.

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40661913)

I absolutely agree. There are needs for volunteers in every city in every country, needing practically every skill. The troll mentioned a subject I actually have firsthand knowledge of, and pissed me off. As an aside, I personally don't do much for the local homeless. My wife's the one who manages an annual fundraiser and awareness event with a local youth group.

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40660991)

Or two members of the village could have each got general transceiver, one of whom works in the city and the other of whom stays in the village.

At a cost of $0 per call, they could regularly communicate the requirements of various local families.

But, yeah, capitalism has once again provided the solution that inserts a useless, leeching middleman: everyone has his own cellphone and wastes money on calls.

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40661307)

Having spent about a year total in rural Mozambique, I totally support your statement.
-s

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

raind (174356) | about 2 years ago | (#40662693)

Perhaps if the culture didn't promote having 10 or preferably more kids the ones they do have would be better off?

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40666293)

Well.. taking what you said at full face value, any thoughts on http://www.servalproject.org/ ?
a P2P app that removes the need for cell towers.

Getting that tested and working here, possibly with 'dual mode' hardware that would allow all calls to route as P2P if available, would give more valuable cast offs for the third world.

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40668795)

Without looking too deeply into it (as details on the page are sparse), I see limited use. A pure mesh network won't really function too well beyond village limits, where you'll find one farm every few kilometers. Within a rural village, there aren't (or weren't in 2009) that many smartphones, so I don't see the mesh networking as being too helpful there.

However, what is interesting is that the Serval project appears to work on Wi-Fi, which might allow it to function as a fully-functional Internet connection, too. The notion of mesh-based Internet access across an urban environment opens the door for much greater information access, and than can often inspire an appreciation of education that I rarely found in my school.

Re:Here's an Idea (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#40658961)

I haven't seen a submitter write anything, period, in ages - generally submissions appear to be lifted verbatim from the first linked page. That's the case here as well.

Given this state of affairs, I'm not sure why Slashdot credits submitters with these stories at all... the submitter isn't really contributing anything to the process in most cases.

Re:Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659457)

I haven't seen a submitter write anything, period, in ages - generally submissions appear to be lifted verbatim from the first linked page. That's the case here as well.

Given this state of affairs, I'm not sure why Slashdot credits submitters with these stories at all... the submitter isn't really contributing anything to the process in most cases.

You haven't figured it out, Slashdot is just a typical call in talk show program wedged onto the Internet. It's the same format except the readers take turns playing the part of the host.

You can call it "news" I guess, I mean they do at least read you some headlines on your way to work, but to mistake what follows for "reporting" is just lunacy.

Say What? (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#40658885)

Doesn't Android include something equivalent to iOS's VoiceOver [apple.com]

-jcr

Voice-Driven Smart Phones are a lot more (2)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#40659133)

That's a good start, and Android's tools for doing speech-to-text translation (not only for texting, but for most applications) are also a good start, but it's not the same as having a phone UI that's voice-centric, rather than a screen-centric UI which also has voice support.

Some friends of mine were working on that back during the boom (a few grad students, and a bad entrepreneur you and I know), but it didn't really take off. It's probably a lot more practical now that we're carrying computers with another decade of Moore's law speedup. Ideally, for blind people, you'd want a system that could be entirely driven from a bluetooth headset, only getting the phone out of your pocket if you need to take a picture of something and have it read it to you or whatever.

Re:Say What? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#40659555)

Doesn't Android include something equivalent to iOS's VoiceOver [apple.com]

-jcr

That doesn't matter. Android has multiple systems for the blind, just like it has multiple systems for the sighted. It's a thriving ecosystem where the user gets to choose what fits their individual needs the best.

Case in point, I'm not blind, and Android has a truly awesome default stock keyboard and auto-completion algorithm, especially with Android 4.1, but my favorite keyboard is still going to be Swiftkey X, because it lets me mix languages on the fly when I email family members. To me, that kind of auto-completion is priceless and it's still something that the PC, or gmail on the PC, hasn't given me yet.

I suspect that blind people are going to have unique needs too. For one thing, there are various degrees of blindness, but there are also various kinds of blindness and various adaptions to it. And it's going to be difficult to make an interface that truly works for all blind/visually impaired people.

It DOES matter (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40659837)

That doesn't matter. Android has multiple systems for the blind, just like it has multiple systems for the sighted. It's a thriving ecosystem where the user gets to choose what fits their individual needs the best.

No they do not.

Not when it comes to something like voice assistance. That requires some thought from the developer, and some API assistance from the system.

Using VoiceOver a user can easily expire a touch interface while blind and make sense of how to use the system. With a very tiny amount of work you can make the titles for any UI elements extremely clear, although the default of reading things like label text and button contents works pretty well as-is.

You cannot simply throw a hodgepodge of applications at someone who is blind and say because the system is open it will all work out. It simply will not.

Re:It DOES matter (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40660541)

http://eyes-free.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/documentation/android_access/index.html

You mean like these ones? These are the default that are included with most / all vanilla Android installs (it was on my phone).

Or is it only one company can do this? Are you stupidly delusional? Or do the blind "expire" a touch interface?

Maybe the voice assistant can make them wait for 5-10 seconds while "i'm looking that up for you", while the Android user gets their info in less than a second? (see the many comparison videos on youtube, or the hundreds of newswriters that actually do a side-by-side comparison with Google Now instead of writing it off because "Android.")

So to conclude: You're partly right; can't throw a hodgepodge of applications at someone. If you use a consistent suite of applications, you're gold. There happens to be at least one on Android... but there's still customization you can use to tailor their experience. For example, if the sight impaired user use to be a HAM operator, it was required to learn morse code for their radio license. There's a morse code keyboard s/he can install, so they can use that instead of a bunch of blurry rectangles with black shapes in them.

Oops, I just one-upped you with the "hodge podge" of apps. Honestly, I didn't mean to.

No, not at all like that (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40682259)

You mean like these ones?

No, note how your site says EXPLICITLY that accessibility is not available in all applications.

With voiceover, pretty much ANY iOS application that uses the Apple UI elements (basically every one except for games) can be used by Voiceover. It does not mean a core set of system apps works with voiceover, it means that even some random app developed by a guy who never considered accessibility can still be used fairly easily with VoiceOver.

Geordi (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40658987)

Helping blind people, it should be dubbed Geordi!

Phone Accessories for the Blind (2)

nonsequitor (893813) | about 2 years ago | (#40659055)

They should look at integrating with blue tooth shoes too. Funny to see more than one story about smart phone technology for the visually impaired in the same day.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/07/footwear-blind?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/bluetoothshoes [economist.com]
The shoes have an actuator in the heel which can vibrate to signal when to turn or alert the presence of an obstacle, a sensor in the toe for detecting obstacles, and blue tooth for phone app integration.

Smartphone for the deaf (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40659063)

I would like to see some sort of smartphone for the deaf and maybe the mute - that translates inbound speech into text, and perhaps can perform text to speech so these folks can use the smartphone to communicate.

Re:Smartphone for the deaf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659567)

It's called text messaging. /s

Re:Smartphone for the deaf (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#40661185)

I've seen deaf+mute people to establish a video call and use sign language.

Re:Smartphone for the deaf (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40661281)

So have I, and this is great if they're talking with somebody who knows sign language. I was hoping for a solution that lets them talk on the phone to everybody else, like when they get a voice call from somebody who doesn't speak sign.. I wasn't asking for a sign-language to some spoken language with visual to speech recognition translator though - I know that's a long way off. Some day though...

A universal speech translator, so I could talk with people I don't share a common language with would be nice also.

Re:Smartphone for the deaf (1)

narcc (412956) | about 2 years ago | (#40661433)

Probably because they're very likely illiterate and, consequently, can't make use of text messaging services.

Deaf schools need to be held to a standard -- any standard. The majority of HS graduates from our nations top schools for the deaf are reading at a 3rd-grade level. That's just unacceptable. It may also explain why unemployment in the deaf community is so high.

Either that or they're lazy shitheads who think it's just tops being deaf, don't see it as a disability, and refuse any and all medical and educational options for themselves and their children that would allow them to more easily interact with the "hearing world". (In children young enough, hearing, speech, and language development can easily match that of children who were not born deaf with, for example, a cochlear implant. Naturally, the "deaf community" hates that that particular technology is presented to parents of deaf children.)

It's probably a mix. I'll bet that a good bit of the negative stuff comes from a small but *cough* vocal minority.

That's not a smartphone.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659069)

...it's an umbrella

blind access for Android (1, Informative)

reversible physicist (799350) | about 2 years ago | (#40659139)

I think the article is saying that this project is bringing accessibility for the blind to Android. They forgot to mention that blind accessibility for the iPhone is excellent [hisoftware.com] and has been ever since the original model.

Re:blind access for Android (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40659589)

That article is just talking about a few apps that happen to be useful for disabled people and including Skype because it lets you video conference and putting it under the same umbrella as real accessibility programs is reaching. Here's [ubergizmo.com] a little article describing some of the baked in accessibility in Android.

Re:blind access for Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40660703)

Are you asking them to squint at a 3.5" screen? Uh, no thanks. They don't need to add a magnifying glass next to it.

Oh, and have you tried using the voice assistant offline? You can't. Imagine if half the phone's capabilities you were dependent on decided not to work just because you're in the subway or god forbid on vacation (and you didn't feel like springing for a data plan)

Re:blind access for Android (1)

ground (36821) | about 2 years ago | (#40660865)

If you want to use voice over you need at least an iPhone 3GS or later.

Obama-Kun, Under Pressure, My Quit Before Election (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659151)

President Barak Obama is about to collapse under the intense pressure of the 'job' of President of the United States of America.

Staffers at the White House are saying that Obama is increasingly detached from the 'real world'. All of his staff meeting with subordinates, i.e. Cabinet Officers, ends with Obama saying to just 'kill them ... I don't care ... fuck you ... Why did I hire you Idiots? ... OH! You gave me a little money! Fuck YOU! That was pocket change [none] to a homeless gay on the streets of San Francisco.'

Staffers are 'running to the hills' on this [i.e. exiting as fast and soon as possible].

Could be that on November Election Day, Obama will be alone in the White House ... except for a .357 Magnum on the top of the dresser.

Cum on Obama ... Do the Right Thing ... Take the .357 ... put the barrel to your head ... pull the trigger. It's easy. Painless. And you will be the 'all you can be in the Army' even though you would never have been inducted due to your drug abuse and criminal record at the time.

LoL

Re:Obama-Kun, Under Pressure, My Quit Before Elect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659233)

The above post brought to you by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Why be honest when you've got Rush?

Re:Obama-Kun, Under Pressure, My Quit Before Elect (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#40660491)

You do realize that the famous shock jo.... radio host you listen to fed you all that so you keep listening to the ads that sponsor his show, right?

Note to mods: Yes, this is off-topic, you'll get no whining from me for modding this down. It's just terrifying to me that many of these ditto-head idiots can legally vote.

Re:Obama-Kun, Under Pressure, My Quit Before Elect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40665641)

Fuck off, you dumb cunt.

Hiya Kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659293)

Hope the TTS is in Tim Curry's voice: "Want a balloon?"

Texture screens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659339)

Wasn't there something a few months ago about touch screens that could imitate textures? That would be great for the blind. To make a call, press and hold on the area that feels like denim.

Windows 8 Metro (1)

Robadob (1800074) | about 2 years ago | (#40659371)

Is it me, or does the image from the article look alot like windows 8 metro (or maybe windows phone 7, but i haven't seen much of that)?

Re:Windows 8 Metro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659619)

I took a shit this morning and it looked remarkably like the Metro UI. Of course my shit will probably sell better.

Re:Windows 8 Metro (1)

hey_popey (1285712) | about 2 years ago | (#40660967)

Unless you are a software patents fundamentalist, this screen filled with big buttons looks just like any interface designed for the sight-impaired!

Why fucking bother with the goddamned blind? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40659373)

Why fucking bother with the goddamned blind? Why not let natural selection take it's course instead?

GO AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR
WASTE YOUR GODDAMNED MOD POINTS
FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!!!!!!!!

American's With Disability Act (2)

p51d007 (656414) | about 2 years ago | (#40660297)

I'm surprised some ambulance chasing troll hasn't tried to sue all phone manufacturers under the ADA bill. Heck, they'll sue at the drop of a hat for less.

Apple (1, Troll)

assertation (1255714) | about 2 years ago | (#40660537)

I'm not an Apple fan, but I have been impressed with things a blind coworker has told me about the iPhone and iPad. All sorts of free software on those devices, out of the box, that lets him use both of those devices without a hitch. Apple did this without any group getting on their case, which coworker told me is the usual path for getting things that work for the blind.

What about latest Android versions? (1)

iampiti (1059688) | about 2 years ago | (#40660901)

I'd really like to hear opinions from blind people who have used the latest Android versions (4.0 and 4.1). AFAIK these have much improved accesibility.
I have ICS in my Galaxy S2 but I must admit I haven't really tested the accesibility features and a blind person would be a much better judge anyway.

Voice Over vs. Talkback Vs the rest (1)

Crozius (2685345) | about 2 years ago | (#40661749)

Okay, it's too much of a pain in the rear to go back and comment on all the different posts, so here is an all in one. This is going to be pretty long... First, a little off topic is alright, but what on earth was all that rant on hungry kids in Africa? Second, someone commented that the iPhones had voice over capability and such for the blind/VI since the first iPhone. That's incorrect, it was the iPhone 3GS that started to give the blind/VI user access to their devices. Along with that, was the iPod touch 3g, the first iPad, and the iPod nano and shuffles from the same period. Apple computer's are a different story, and different timeline, and not relevant to this topic. Android has *very limited* accessibility starting as early back as Android 1.6, but like I said, that was extremely limited. Not to mention, in Android 3.x accessibility was completely broken, and so unusable, that that might as well not be considered. Now for some differences. I've been a blind user, that has had no sight, relying solely on text to speech capability for electronic devices for a while. The iPhone has Voice Over, as stated above, and android uses Talkback with Kickback and Soundback for a "full" accessibility package. I've owned an Android (Samsung Epic 4G) and currently own an iPhone 4S. Here is what I think about them, and accessibility on the platforms. iPhone: The good - ability since IOS 5.0 to turn it on without sighted assistance, ability to choose how you navigate (headings, text fields, line, word, character), ability to use a flick gesture to move around page/screen, or place finger on the screen in relative location to navigate, along with a lot of other things. Support for apps is also decent. There are over 200 known apps that have been searched out, as well as many that aren't listed, that "just work" (ugh, I hate using that damn line for an apple device though, sounds like I buy into the whole ecosystem). APIs are included in the xcode for IOS dev, and honestly, most things could be very accessible if companies took a little more time in dealing with accessibility. Oh, and one of the things I really like... I can actually finally read books without having to purchase super expensive external readers, and software to run them, and so on. Bad - Very resource intense, as well as choosing a different voice for the reader changes your location services to a point. I love googling things in the U.S., and having google.com/au pop up as my search provider, as well as reading dates differently than everything else that's posted in the United States. Android: Good - Community supported,seperate apps that are given specifically to the blind as part of the "accessibility package for free, interesting apps such as "intersection explorer" and a GPS solution made for walking, that are blind specific. Bad - I hate to go this route, but there are a lot of bad things. More resource intense than the iPhones, I had to reboot my phone a minimum of 6 times a day due to the screen reader freezing completely. More than a pain when doing things like using the location services/GPS to navigate. Many of the "blind specific" apps downloaded in the package you are told to start off with, never worked. I couldn't use the web browser if my life depended on it, and the intersection explorer wasn't usable, the only time it worked, I couldn't change my address, and honestly, I don't care about an intersection half way across the country. Page/screen navigation wasn't specific enough. You could only navigate by section. If that section was a paragraph, a line, or a word, you had no way to navigate more in depth. Really a pain as trying to pick a phone number out of a text when it reads the line including "5555551234" read just as it's printed comes blaring across. Also, it's blaring mistake and problem... I had to have the girlfriend sit down, while trying to google things to get accessibility up and running, and she had to activate everything, then download packages, then activate, then update... You get the point, before I as a totally blind user could even touch the phone. Also, couldn't use any phone service that was menu based. No calling my bank for a quick check-up, or calling about my credit card,, movie times... anythign that you have to choose form menus. The onscreen keyboard wasn't accessible, the dialpad that you get with the Talkback package didn't work on menu driven components, and the slide out keyboard couldn't recognize things like the star, or pound... Talk about freaking useless. Honestly, what these people are doing is what companies have been doing for a while. They are taking what is there, and packaging it into a nice, tidy, and hopefully already set up, deal for the blind/VI. I hate to say this though, but even with my limited use of Talkback on the newer Android tablets, there is a long way to go before any Droid device is as accessible, as easily. I hate to make that comment, because I would love to see Android give apple a run for their money, but unfortunately things that are supposed to work, don't, things that do work, only work partially, and what does work right, isn't enough yet. I also hope they don't go the road of charging "specialized pricing" for these devices. Too many companies are already out there that offer high cost, barely affordable "accessibility solutions" to a community that typically doesn't have an endless cashflow. If they can get this working, and get it working correctly and affordibly, then why not think of porting it from something like the SII or the Ace, and move it to something that can handle more?

Phone app to announce current location on a bus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40663601)

I was on a bus the other day and there was a blind guy with his guide dog at the front of the bus. At a main bus station the guy got up and asked the driver if this was his stop. Driver said 'no, this is xxxx, your stop is second next down the road'. Bus loaded up passengers and continued down the road. One stop later the blind guy asks the driver if this is his stop. Driver answers no, next stop. Next stop the blind guy gets off.

Now, what I want to know is this:
Why didn't the blind guy have a phone that has an App which tells him what his current location is?
Why didn't the blind guy have a phone which has an App tied into the bus system linked to GPS location to ping him and tell him when the bus is approaching his stop?

We have the technology!
We have the tools!
We have the ability to make this software.

Out of interest, I note that the blind guy had a Samsung Galaxy S (could have been a S2).

Re:Phone app to announce current location on a bus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40663705)

Maybe because it was easier for the blind guy to just ask the driver than drop himself into relying on some mesh of technologies that could be shorted out by changes in weather, low battery life, bad maps, signal loss, automatic power saving, software bugs in half a dozen systems, etc. etc.

Windows Phone Apollo 8 (1)

BradPitt2012 (2685927) | about 2 years ago | (#40670595)

Yes, smartphones bring us a great convenience. As long as Windows 8 released, Windows phone Apollo 8 is coming out soon properly in October or Christmas’ day. But the real release date is not told by Microsoft yet. I believe all of us will keep our eyes on the accurate date to come. Here is the latest information about Window phone 8 [windowsrecoverytool.net].
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