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    Mobile Devices Prove Invaluable to the Blind

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    While, at first glance, mobile devices may seem useless to people with low or no vision, recent technological advancements are radically changing the way visually impaired people interact with the world.

    For several minutes, try to safely go about your day with your eyes closed. Specifically, try to use your smartphone or tablet. Imagine the daily challenges faced by the 285 million people worldwide who have visual impairments.

    While, at first glance, mobile devices may seem useless to people with low or no vision, recent technological advancements are radically changing the way visually impaired people interact with the world.

    Since Apple first implemented accessibility features for its iPhone in 2009, experts say mobile devices have become some of the best aids next to Braille.

    People can read or write with voice commands; identify their location with audible GPS navigation; and take accurate pictures.

    Specific applications can help do everything from see colors and detect light to identify denominations of money and interact with social media feeds.

    Google’s TalkBack app added vibrations, audible sounds, and spoken words while Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader responds to multi-touch gestures such as application names being spoken when a finger slides around on the screen.

    Next year, an India-based startup company will release a smartphone with a repressible Braille display, allowing visually impaired users to read with their touch and enable a groundbreaking sensory experience.