Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Google makes it easier for people with low vision to find objects with their phones

In an announcement coinciding with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Google highlighted new accessibility features in its software and improvements to existing features. The most important of these improvements is a major update to Android's Lookout tool, which gives people with low vision more information about the objects around them. Google stated Lookout's ability to search for specific objects using artificial intelligence, allowing it to search in seven categories such as living areas and bathrooms.

“As you move your camera around the room, Lookout will give you information about the orientation and distance of the object,” said Eve Andersson, Google's senior director of product inclusivity, equity and accessibility. he stated. This feature provides great convenience in the daily lives of users with low vision.

Android's Look to Speak app allows users to select pre-written and customizable phrases with eye movements to have them read aloud by their devices. The app is now gaining a textless mode, which Andersson says aims to make communication more accessible for people with cognitive differences, literacy issues and language barriers.

Project Gameface, a project that lets you control a computer's cursor using head movements and facial expressions, is now expanding to Android. Developers can start using this project on GitHub. This will provide access to more users and provide accessibility solutions across devices.

In addition, Google's blog post also mentions other accessibility efforts. For example, businesses can now indicate in their Google Maps profile that they support Auracast-enabled Bluetooth devices. These devices can receive audio from broadcast devices in theaters, auditoriums or gyms. Google Maps' detailed voice guidance for pedestrian directions is also now expanding globally on Android and iOS, in all supported languages.

Based on feedback, the company redesigned audio notifications that detect sounds such as fire alarms. These improvements give users more control and improve the user experience.

Technology companies' advancements in accessibility are always encouraging. Apple also announced a series of improvements to its software that will come with iOS 18 this year and will allow you to navigate iPhones and iPads with eye tracking. The work of giants such as Google and Apple in this field is seen as important steps towards making access to technology more inclusive.

Danish Kapoor