For the Blind, Technology Does What a Guide Dog Can'tBy Helft, Miguel; New York Times,
Publication Date: January 4, 2009
Article discusses assistive technology for the blind designed by a computer scientist at Google. T.V. Raman, who himself is blind, has built a version of Google’s search service tailored for blind users (http://labs.google.com/accessible/) and is at work on the development of a touch-screen mobile phone for the blind. The prototype, based on his own touch-screen T-Mobile G1, has been outfitted with software that speaks much like a screen reader on a PC. It features a dialer that works based on relative positions, interpreting the place where the user first touches the screen as a 5, the center of a regular telephone dial pad. To dial another number, the user slides his or her finger in its direction, for example, up and to the left for 1. Mistakes can be erased by shaking the phone, which can detect motion. Mr. Raman hopes to eventually incorporate technology that enables a phone to recognize and read signs through its camera without the user having to point the device directly at them. Such technology, which relies on computer chips powerful enough to read skewed type, would assist blind people in navigating their environment.
Assistive Products Discussed: EMACSPEAK
Published by: New York Times Company (Website:http://www.nytco.com)
Link to text: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/business/04blind.html?pagewanted=1&emc=eta1