Smart Technology Solutions for the Visually Impaired!

By CIOReview | Friday, August 16, 2019

Microsoft’s Soundscape replicates the behavior by creating a meticulous audio map that communicates what is taking place around a visually impaired person.

FREMONT, CA: Over a million people in the world are either blind or are living with moderate to severe visual impairments. Public health organizations have estimated that vision impairment can be preventable with better access to treatment. In the procedure, technology is playing a crucial role in tearing down the barriers, and particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making real inroads into advancing the accessibility.

Following are some examples of how smart technology can be a game-changer, letting everyone to interact with the world in novel ways.

The eye in AI

Microsoft’s Seeing AI is an application designed to aid people who are blind or with low vision. The tool augments the world around the user with detailed auditory descriptions. Additionally, the app can also scan a barcode or read a handwritten note and then tell the user what the product is. When one points a camera at something, the app will illustrate how many people it can see and where they are in the image–top left, center, and so on.

3-D Sound Maps

For a sighted person, walking alongside the street can mean taking in all the surrounding details. Microsoft’s Soundscape replicates the behavior by creating a meticulous audio map that communicates what is taking place around a visually impaired person. The tool creates layers of details and context by drawing on location data, sound beacons, and synthesized 3-D stereo sound. The 3-D stereo puts together a frequently updating 3-D sound map of the neighboring world.

Knowledge at Fingertips

For physically impaired people, reading has taken a leap from the page to the screen with the updated version of Narrator, the screen-reader for Microsoft Windows. The tool’s features include digital Braille keyboards and displays.

AI for Accessibility

Microsoft launched a program AI to put Microsoft technology in the hands of start-ups, researchers, developers, and non-profits to drive innovation and strengthen human capacity for people with disabilities. Besides, the program is regularly looking at new projects to support.