blind Stories April 5, 2016

AAPL: 109.81

-1.31

At a time when so many Facebook posts comprise a photo and a brief comment, there’s one group of people who get rather left out of the picture: those who are blind and partially sighted. That’s a problem Facebook is fixing, starting from today. The iOS app now uses artificial intelligence to figure out the content of photos, and Apple’s VoiceOver feature to read aloud a description of them.

The Verge got a demo of the feature, which Facebook calls ‘automatic alt text.’

Automatic alt text, which is coming to iOS today and later to Android and the web, recognizes objects in photos using machine learning […] While still in its early stages, the technology can reliably identify concepts in categories including transportation (“car,” “boat,” “airplane”), nature (“snow,” “ocean,” “sunset”), sports (“basketball court”), and food (“sushi”). The technology can also describe people (“baby,” “smiling,” beard”), and identify a selfie.

Facebook said that there were two approaches it could have taken to the problem, and it chose the one it believed would be most successful …

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blind Stories January 21, 2015

The National Federation of the Blind said last year that Apple has “done more for accessibility than any other company,” and with the help of a new app, iPhone and iPad owners can take things even further. Be My Eyes is an app that allows blind people to request remote help from a sighted person when needed.

Requests for help might range from checking the expiry date on a container of milk to looking at an airport departure board for a gate number …  expand full story

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blind Stories May 1, 2013

Amazon updates Kindle iOS app with new accessibility features, VoiceOver support for the visually impaired

Amazon announced today that it is updating its Kindle mobile apps, starting with an update to the Kindle iOS app,to include new accessibility features for the blind and visually impaired. The updated app now includes VoiceOver support and new accessibility features, the addition of the Hiragino Mincho ProN (Serif) font selection for Japan, and an enhancement to the app’s ‘Before you go’ feature that now offers “the ability to download a free sample and email yourself a reminder about recommended books.”

A full list of new accessibility features available in today’s update below:

  • Read aloud over 1.8 million titles available in the Kindle Store using Apple’s VoiceOver technology. Over 300,000 of these books are exclusive to the Kindle Store. Over 900,000 books are less than $4.99; over 1.5 million are less than $9.99.
  • Seamlessly navigate within their library or within a book, with consistent title, menu and button names; navigate to a specific page within a book and sort books in the library by author or title.
  • Read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously, as well as move forward or backward in the text.
  • Search for a book within their library or search within their book and navigate to specific text.
  • Add and delete notes, bookmarks, and highlights.
  • Use customer-favorite features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Look up words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.
  • Customize the reading experience including changing the font, text size, background color, margin, and brightness.
  • Use iOS accessibility features like Zoom, Assistive Touch, and Stereo to Mono, as well as peripheral braille displays.

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