The World Health Organization has revealed after an extensive survey that the number of blind people in the world is more than 39 million. Further studies conducted by the United States National Health Interview Survey in 2012 reveal that about 20.6 million of the above figure are adult American citizens. While the world has made significant advancements in all fields, most notably in technology, very few have taken the plight of the blind and visually impaired into consideration.
In recent years, however, a few manufacturers and developers have tried to cater to this niche by selling smartphones and devices with accessibility applications. Project Ray is an ambitious and exciting new project which hopes to create smartphones which are directed only at this target audience and provide a host of functionality which is extremely helpful for the visually impaired.
They have been made to ensure and facilitate easy eye-free operations. The phones are built on existing smartphones but have redefined the functionality of the entire smartphone industry by making it completely touch and sound-oriented.
Innovative optimizations for the visually impaired
These smartphones are targeted at consumers of all ages and feature a completely optimized platform with an easy to use interface which has been built keeping the needs of the less- tech-savvy in mind as well. Thanks to Ray smartphones, several new vistas have opened up for the blind, and now they will enjoy several new aspects of life which they had not been exposed to earlier.
- The phones can be used with one hand, and do not have any confusing changes in menus, as the entire phone is governed by the same user-interface.
- They feature easy gesture control, where user applications can be opened with simple gestures on the screen.
- Alongside the extra functionality, TTS and gesture control, users get full access to Android functionality.
- Incoming calls are announced by the phone as well.
- The phones also have security features like device discovery and remote location, so that your loved ones can know where you are.
Your phone can be your eyes
This may well be the first platform which has really thought about the needs of the visually impaired.
- While coins of different denominations come in different sizes, there is no way to distinguish between dollar bills or banknotes for the blind. With a Ray smartphone, however, this is no issue, as you can point your camera at the note, and it will identify and read out the type for you!
- If you point the camera on your Ray smartphone at any object, after a short time, the phone will read out an extensive report of the colour and nature of the object, and this can really help in locating objects, landmarks, doors etc.
- The phone also is capable of reading out your present location based on GPS and even giving voice-navigation directions to your desired destination.
- You can read out a message to your phone which will convert it into text and send it to a recipient, and it will also read out incoming email and text messages.
Ultimate functionality thanks to Ray
The range of smartphones from Ray has truly set a benchmark in the industry and has thought about each and every issue which the visually impaired citizens face. Dialling your loved ones has never been easier, and there are a number of other voice-activated features like the alarm clock, calendar, voice recorder, and also a full-fledged online panic button and support centre.
You do not even need to bother about a SIM or a connection, as they are available in the US with a full communication package from renowned carriers, with provision for calls, messages, data and all other functions. This mobile has gone a long way in ensuring voice-oriented, eye-free service and setup of the phone as well.
This specially designed smartphone for the blind and the visually impaired has features that enable advanced communication and provide self-reliance and independence.