Following on from my previous post. This gesture based system from Leap Motion would make more sense as a control system. Having to touch physical buttons to toggle modes is not as subtle as hand gestures. As computer vision does move forward into a more mainstream Ar product I would expect to see gesture based systems like this come into play.
Leap Motion gesture control system
With computer vision rapidly improving, it was only a matter of time before we began to see head mounted computer vision systems. Horus, has a unique approach in that it doesn’t rely on connectivity for the visual processing. That means it will even work when the data connection is down. It covers some interesting basics of computer vision for the blind, reading and facial recognition for example. It does however, suffer from what i always conside the ultimate pitfall in these products. it was designed specifically for the blind, meaning the cost is high, as the market is small.
There is definitely space for a head mounted digital assistant. So with a little shift in the market this product could be aimed at a wider spectrum bringing down the cost. Therefore, making it highly accessible.
However, this is a wonderful step forward and I am looking forward to seeing where products like this go.
COmputer vision for the blind
Fantastic to see Microsoft improving their accessibility efforts. I always felt they had the ability to challenge Apple for a unified accessible experience across their product lines. Having the same tools available on desktop, notebook, surface, xbox and even the phone, is highly appealing. Keeping an eye on this for the future,
Microsoft improving Windows 10 accessibility
Night mode was brought to Android Twitter last month, so it was only a matter of time before it landed on the iPhone. I believe Apple could take this one step further though. I would like to see night mode an OS level option. With apps having alternative themes for night mode that are triggered as you toggle Night Mode in the OS. This would be far simpler than toggling it in a per app basis. I would say it’s likely Apple may introduce this in 2017, to pair with the OLED screen, simple because it will improve battery life.
I love this, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. But to someone who is blind it is worth far more than that. Will definitely be tuning in to this podcast!
I list dark themes as one of the key inclusive design decisions next to dynamic font sizing. It’s great to see Microsoft heading in this direction and perhaps even adding a second dark theme.
I am unsure why the retina burning white backgrounds has held strong for so long. After all everyone uses their phones in dimly lit environments where dark themes mark perfect sense.
Would love to see this in Mac OS as well as iOS in the near future. With the transition to OLED screens that is highly likely.
Continuing down the indoor navigation topic. Google’s Project Tango, now named Tango is finally reaching a consumer ready version.
I saw this as the first consumer grade product that could have fantastic implications for indoor navigation for the VI. It has the ability to 3D map a room, which could then be used to assist someone’s navigation. The fact this is now in a consumer ready model is very encouraging, a proof of concept app could easily make it onto the Google Play store now.
Indoor navigation is always an interesting challenge, great to see that the next version of Bluetooth is improving beacon communication, for this very problem.
For low vision users contrast is a accessibility necessity. Converting to a dark background with white text, instead of the usual black on white makes a huge difference. Literally the difference between being able to see to use an app or not.
So much so, that I used to root Android phones and apply dark themed apps. This would allow me to configure apps such as Facebook to have a black background with white text. Therefore, hugely increasing the contrast thus the usability.
With WWDC around the corner there is a wonderful Apple rumour about “Dark Mode”. A Dark Mode for the standard iOS apps would be fantastic, Mail for example would be incredible with a Dar Mode. The interesting point in the rumour however, is that of a Dark Mode API.
Allowing 3rd party apps to easily include a dark mode could be a massive game changer for low vision users. I can only hope this rumour sees fruition and that it is a permanent setting within the accessibility settings.
Following on from yesterday’s post about Apple introducing an Echo competitor.
Venture Beat reports that this may take the form of a new Apple TV. This sounds like a strange and difficult user experience. Requiring the TV to be on to interact with the device seems cumbersome.
There is the possibility that a new Apple TV may have an external speaker. However, this would no doubt be a speaker of poor quality. What I would like to see is something like an Apple speaker, akin to the Sonos. This would seem like a more natural interface to converse with an audio based digital assistance, as well as giving Apple a fantastic platform for Apple Music.
WWDC is definitely hotting up to be interesting!