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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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  • 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

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

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:44PM (#40659047) Homepage

    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.

  • It DOES matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @10:15PM (#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.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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