In early 2009, information appeared that the Internet giant “Google” was developing software for mobile phones running on the Andoid operating system, with the help of which blind users, or users with partial or significant loss of vision. Representatives of the company say that it is impossible to completely make all the functions of this system available to the blind, but Google will make every effort to facilitate access to most of the possibilities.
The company says it has already completed the bulk of the work on a software system that allows blind people to type data on a touchscreen, which was almost impossible in the past for users with vision problems. The new system works quite interestingly: the numbers are arranged here not in the form of the usual columns, but in a circle, but if the user pressed the key incorrectly, then he needs to shake the phone a little in order to erase the last dialed digit of the phone number. A similar principle is laid down in the method of typing text data.
The system also includes a full-fledged screen reader, various voice prompts, sets of all kinds of visual, vibration and sound signals informing about a particular action on the phone screen running the Google Android operating system.
Google’s press service reports that in addition to a group of a dozen programmers, several third-party blind developers are also involved in the development of this software. The company’s immediate plans include optimization for the needs of blind users of cartographic software and satellite navigation subsystems. As T. V. Raman, a Google developer who lost his sight at five, said: “If a blind user in a foreign city can quickly determine exactly where he is and how to get to his destination, it will be a great success. “.
In the conditions of a narrow range of screen access programs for mobile devices on the market, the emergence of another development in this direction seems to be a big event. However, it will be possible to finally judge the quality of this product only after its official entry into the market of typhlotechnical products. Now we can only state a positive trend in the development of a niche market for specialized software for mobile devices, aimed at solving problems arising among users with visual impairments.