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Android Handhelds Input Devices United Kingdom

Georgie: Smartphone For the Blind and Visually Impaired 77

Posted by samzenpus
from the equal-opportunity dept.
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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Georgie: Smartphone For the Blind and Visually Impaired

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  • by Anonymous Coward

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

    • 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.

  • Say What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:16PM (#40658885) Journal

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

    -jcr

    • 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 anot

    • 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 a

      • It DOES matter (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149)

        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 w

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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 vi

          • 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 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:35PM (#40658987)

    Helping blind people, it should be dubbed Geordi!

  • by nonsequitor (893813) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:46PM (#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.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:47PM (#40659063) Journal
    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.
    • I've seen deaf+mute people to establish a video call and use sign language.
      • by symbolset (646467) *

        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 nic

      • by narcc (412956)

        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

  • 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.
    • by oakgrove (845019)
      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.
    • by ground (36821)

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

  • 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)?
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it ape's the style, but it isn't like metro - and it's an android phone.

    • Unless you are a software patents fundamentalist, this screen filled with big buttons looks just like any interface designed for the sight-impaired!
  • by cvtan (752695)
    How many patents are these people violating!!!!!!!
  • 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 (Score:2, Troll)

    by assertation (1255714)

    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.

  • 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.
  • 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 tou
  • 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].
  • Awesome Games [blogspot.com]

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