The following blog post was written by David Dzumba - Senior Program Manager, Accessibility at Microsoft. He has worked in this area of the technology sector for more than 16 years.
In November, we told you about a Nokia contest that rewards developers of apps for vision-impaired users. Now Nokia Create has announced the winner and runners up of its Nokia Create’s Do Good Mission:
TheFunniesDeveloped by Yowlu SCP in Spain, TheFunnies is a game designed to be accessible to kids with visual impairments without dwelling on their disability. The app has a simple user interface and voice instructions that guide kids on a fantastic adventure with their new friends. In addition to being fun, the app offers learning opportunities in music, reading and math.
Do Good Mission runners up:
AudibleBrowserWhen browsing the Internet by phone, this app reads aloud as the user clicks text. It works with most websites.
AudibleCompass This app speaks and vibrates. It audibly tells a user the direction and orientation between 0 and 360 degrees. It vibrates for a short duration when the user faces north and vibrates for a longer time when the user faces south.
ColorSenseThe app has the capability to read colors aloud and detect 16 colors using a camera on a device.
DictionaryUsers gave this app 4.5 out of 5 stars in just its first week of availability. Words are stored on the device for quick access without a data connection.
EyeLensEyeLens has both a color identifier and zoom function. The app uses gestures, left\right to switch filter and up\down to zoom in and zoom out.
LightSensorLightSensor transforms light captured by a camera into haptic and acoustic feedback.
Shake2DialThis easy interface lets users make a phone call eyes-free with just a few shakes.
VisualEaseA pleasing user interface and audible feedback make this a great app for reporting the weather and time. It also has a LockScreen, virtual keyboard and other functions.
Vocal CameraThis app lets users control their phone camera with their voice. Vocal commands can be customized, and the app is available in six languages.
These new and free apps complement the advancements Microsoft has made in accessibility of the Windows Phone. For a list of recent updates, please visit “Accessibility on my phone.”
It's great Nokia started this contest.äBut, sorry, visual impaired people wish primarly to see, not to hear. We need special adaptable userinterfaces, not variation of dozens of modes fir blind users.
There should be different and adaptable user scenarios allowing visual working and hearing if needed. For visual working users choosable contrast settings, enlarging of focus and clear.user feedback would be helpfull.
These solutions seems to much stuck in blind users techniques.
Please start a new way of thinking in this area.
for blind people? The Windows Phone dont offer a screen reader yet. As blind, i can not use it!
I am just an 82 yr old & not so bright & am open to all suggestions. Thank you.
I do not mind the apps using audible prompts, as some vision impaired get eye fatigue easily and it helps to rest your eyes and just listen. However, Microsoft definitely needs to embed color inversion software with a quick toggle for going back and forth for different content. Seems like the easy is update in the world and should be done.
"Nokia city lens" is a great app for seeing what's around you when you can't actually see it in reality. I have used this many times to find a place to eat or get a drink.