At this year’s I/O developer conference, Google announced a series of significant updates to its accessibility apps, even in celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Among the improvements is a new feature in your Lookout app.

The company revealed several new features that cover different apps and products, from document reading and object recognition to navigation using voice commands and wheelchair accessibility. Check out more details!

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App Lookout brings more inclusion for people with low vision or blindness

One of the most impressive updates is the new version of the Lookout app. This application has become a very important tool for people with low vision or blindness, as it is capable of reading long texts and documents aloud.

In addition, Lookout also helps with everyday tasks, being able to read food labels, recognize coins and describe what it sees through the device’s camera to the user.

Now, its newest version includes a “Find” mode that is new this time. It allows users to choose from seven categories of items such as seats, tables, vehicles, utensils, and bathrooms.

When moving the camera around the environment, the application identifies and informs the direction or distance to the desired object, facilitating users’ interaction with the objects around them. In addition, Google also announced that it launched a capture button within the application itself so that the smartphone takes a photo and the user has a detailed description of what is in that image from an AI.

Other Google Accessibility Solutions

In addition to the Lookout app, Google also revealed other news and improvements in this area.

Look to Speak brings easy communication

Look to Speak

Google has also improved its Look to Speak app, which allows communication through eye gestures. This way, the user just needs to find a phrase within a list and focus on it for the application to speak out loud, improving this communication.

Now new is the addition of a textless mode, where users can select symbols, emojis and photos from a photo book to trigger speech. This customization allows each user to define the specific meaning for each symbol or image, thus ensuring a more intuitive and personalized form of communication.

Lens on Maps offers more inclusive navigation

The company also revealed that it has expanded screen reader capabilities for Lens in Maps, making navigation more accessible for people with visual impairments. Lens can now report the names and categories of nearby locations, such as ATMs and restaurants, as well as provide the distance to these locations.

Enhancements to detailed voice guidance have also been implemented, offering audio prompts that guide the user precisely and clearly throughout their journey.

Wheelchair Accessibility on Google Maps

Another significant update is the availability of wheelchair accessibility information on desktop, a feature that has only been available on Android and iOS since its launch four years ago.

The “Accessible Locations” feature allows users to see if a location has an accessible entrance, adapted bathrooms, appropriate seating and adequate parking. Currently, Google Maps has accessibility information for more than 50 million places. Additionally, Android and iOS users can now easily filter reviews that focus on wheelchair accessibility.

Gameface project for hands-free control

Finally, Google announced that more Gameface Project code has been made open-source. This project allows developers to create applications that use a “mouse” controlled by head movements and facial gestures. This technology allows people with limited mobility to use their computers and phones more easily and efficiently.

Google in search of inclusion

The updates announced by Google at this year’s I/O conference represent a significant step towards more inclusive technology. With these improvements, Google not only facilitates access to information and communication for people with disabilities, but also promotes greater independence and quality of life.

During this week, this topic of accessibility became very active and important, mainly thanks to Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which took place yesterday, on May 16th. The purpose of the date is precisely to talk more about the topic, and that is why several companies take advantage of the moment to show their advances in this area.

Fonte: Engadget


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