Android

Useful app helps the blind navigate around crowded places

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A pioneering smartphone accessibility app was recently updated and was designed to help orient and guide blind and vision impaired people through crowded indoor spaces, such as shopping malls, universities and hospitals.

RightHear logo

RightHear logo

The RightHear app was developed by Zikitapp Limited in Israel and is an accessibility solution for the blind and vision impaired that enables users to acquire a better level of independence and orientation within indoor spaces.

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Ava app makes group conversations accessible

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For those with hearing disability, simple dinner table group conversations can be pretty painful to stay on top of. However, the Ava app aims to bring Deaf and hearing impaired people back into group conversations with each other plus people of all abilities – and the May 2017 update provides even more functionality.

Image of Ava being used on a smartphone

Ava being used on a smartphone

The Ava threaded speech-to-text application gives people with hearing disability an easy way to stay engaged in conversation with a group of friends, colleagues or family.

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Affordable digital access of real interest to seniors

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Media Access Australia (MAA) was a sponsor of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) annual conference that kicked off in Sydney on 8 November. MAA was also exhibiting at the event, with a focus on the content-rich Affordable Access website and downloadable resources.

Philip Jenkinson at the MAA stand at the Computer Seniors Conference

 Philip Jenkinson at the MAA stand at the Computer Seniors Conference

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New access app Blappy is making people happy

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A new Bluetooth chat application for accessibility, called Blappy, aims to bring more people together. The app translates voice to text and text to voice, to enable people who are vision impaired to effectively communicate with those who are Deaf or hearing impaired.

 

Blappy running on three smartphones

Blappy running on three smartphones. Image from UC3M.

Blappy was created by CESyA, the Spanish Centre of Subtitling and Audio Description, with the support of UC3M's Audiovisual Accessibility Laboratory, which is part of the Center for Technologies for Disability & Dependence in UC3M’s Science Park in Madrid, Spain.

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Some replacement Galaxy Note7’s still too hot to handle

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In September 2016 Samsung globally recalled more than 2.5 million of their flagship Galaxy Note7 smartphones due to safety concerns. Now there are growing reports of incidents of replacement models catching fire too, and production has ceased.

Two Samsung Note7 phones

Two Samsung Note7 phones

The phones, which include a lot of useful accessibility features and have been a popular choice in Australia for those people with a disability, were recalled and a replacement program put in place due to multiple cases of exploding batteries and spontaneous combustion. Yet the problems continue.

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Handy PointFinder app now available for iOS users

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The PointFinder accessible navigation aid for blind and vision-impaired people was launched on the Android platform in 2014, after some advice and testing from Media Access Australia. Now this very useful app is available for iOS users too.

Image of PointFinder app logo

Image of PointFinder app logo

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USAA’s new banking app allows voice-guided cheque depositing

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USAA, a Texas-based Fortune 500 diversified financial services group, has recently demonstrated that banking and accessibility can easily go hand in hand with each other. This was proved in a recent update to their banking app which will mean that individuals who are blind or have a vision impairment will hear the benefits – literally.

USAA logo

This system offers verbal cues to guide a vision impaired customer to be able to properly position a cheque to deposit it. They use commands like ‘push out’, ‘pull in’, ‘move right’, ‘lift device’, ‘hold steady’, ‘image captured’, and more.


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Google announces Android Nougat with new accessibility features

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Google has officially launched its new version of Android 7.0 Nougat which will feature a number of significant accessibility additions and improvements.

Android robot waving and standing on a pile of nougat

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Google invests in start-up that identifies images through your phone’s camera

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Google has said “oui” (yes) to buying French start-up Moodstocks, a company that specialises in rapid object recognition from smartphones. This interest from Google is further proof that the world of accessibility is going mainstream.

Google logo

Google already has an object recognition app (Google Goggles), but Moodstocks operates differently. It runs on your smartphone rather than via a server, which makes it more affordable, more mainstream and more accessible to its targeted audience.


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