VoiceOver Stories April 5

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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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VoiceOver Stories June 18, 2015

VoiceOver Stories May 12, 2015

Hearing aids are pretty sophisticated pieces of technology these days, capable of adjusting the sound they pick up to suit a range of different environments, from a noisy restaurant to a windy day outside. A button allows users to cycle between modes, but some go further, an app allowing the user to fine-tune things like the arc of sound captured, letting them hear what is being said by companions while blocking out extraneous sound.

In a video on CNN Money, a man whose hearing was badly affected by a brain tumor demonstrates how an app on his Apple Watch allows him to control his ReSound hearing-aid …  expand full story

9to5toys 

VoiceOver Stories May 6, 2015

The American Foundation for the Blind today announced four honorees for the upcoming Helen Keller Achievement Awards, highlighting Apple’s VoiceOver and Accessibility efforts alongside actor Charlie Cox, musician Ward Marston, and biopharmaceutical company Vanda Pharmaceuticals.

The foundation says that it gives this award to “accomplished individuals and companies for their success in improving quality of life for people with vision loss either through groundbreaking innovation or inspirational achievement that changes perceptions about what it means to be visually impaired.”

Apple is specifically being awarded for VoiceOver Accessibility technology across its products, per the announcement:

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VoiceOver Stories January 7, 2015

VoiceOver Stories December 12, 2014

Yosemite 10.10.2 beta

Apple has seeded a new build of pre-release OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 highlighting focus ares including WiFi, Mail, and VoiceOver. The third tester preview of OS X 10.10.2 brings the build number up to 14C81f following build 14C78c released earlier this month. We’ll update with any notable changes spotted in the new release for testers. expand full story

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