Introducing the Dingoo: an affordable handheld gaming device with access features

Friday, 26 February 2010 10:52am

The Dingoo is a handheld gaming device produced in China that is rapidly gaining in popularity in Internet circles. It can be used to play Dingoo-specific games, emulated games from old game consoles, most music files, most video files, an FM radio, view pictures and view e-books. What makes the device even more interesting is that it retails for about $100, and it contains a number of access features including a text-to-speech reader.

The Dingoo itself is similar in size to other handheld gaming devices, measuring 125mm × 55.5mm × 14mm.  The screen size is nearly 75mm (3”) and has speakers, a headphone jack, and a USB jack for copying files and charging it.

From an access perspective, the Dingoo has some good features which are usually difficult to find in this price bracket. The most notable feature is its text-to-speech function which allows e-books and text files to be read out aloud by the Dingoo. The voice is female with a Chinese accent, and is easy to understand.

For people with learning disabilities, the Dingoo highlights the spoken text paragraph-by-pargraph as it is read out. There are no tools available to adjust the voice, but for basic reading functionality, it works well. The interface it also good for people with a vision impairment, allowing for the selection of high contrast themes and the use of large, easy-to-identify icons.

Another great feature provided by the Dingoo is the ability to output the display to a TV. This means that people with a vision impairment who have difficulty seeing the small screen can display it on a full-sized TV, making all the menus and  games very large, and displaying giant e-book text. 

The Dingoo is an open-source development platform, meaning that people are able to create new applications and programs for it. Currently a version of Linux has been created called Dingux to expand its functionality, and developers are currently working on a new media player program that supports captions, and the possibility of spoken menus using its text-to-speech function.

The Dingoo is difficult to find in stores, but can be easily found on EBay and represents good value for about $100. Further information on the Dingoo can be found on the Dingoo Wikipedia listing and the Dingoo software file archive.


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