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The technology helping blind people to see

#artificialintelligence

Earlier this week, Facebook updated its iOS app offering voice descriptions of photographs uploaded by its users. A big step forward for accessibility, but it's far from the only company looking to make the world more inclusive to the visually impaired. In fact, rapid advances in artificial intelligence, machine vision and image-recognition technology are opening up the digital world to the blind and visually impaired – and helping them to interact with their surroundings. One interesting example is Austrian start-up BLITAB, which has created the first ever tactile tablet for blind and visually impaired people, dubbed "the iPad for the blind". As Kristina Tsvetanova, co-founder & CEO at BLITAB Technology, explains, the device looks similar to an ebook but displays small physical bubbles instead of using a screen, which means users can view whole pages of braille text at once, without any mechanical elements.


The technology helping blind people to see

#artificialintelligence

Earlier this week, Facebook updated its iOS app offering voice descriptions of photographs uploaded by its users. A big step forward for accessibility, but it's far from the only company looking to make the world more inclusive to the visually impaired. In fact, rapid advances in artificial intelligence, machine vision and image-recognition technology are opening up the digital world to the blind and visually impaired – and helping them to interact with their surroundings. One interesting example is Austrian start-up BLITAB, which has created the first ever tactile tablet for blind and visually impaired people, dubbed "the iPad for the blind". As Kristina Tsvetanova, co-founder & CEO at BLITAB Technology, explains, the device looks similar to an ebook but displays small physical bubbles instead of using a screen, which means users can view whole pages of braille text at once, without any mechanical elements.


Take a look inside the advances in AI and machine learning that are helping the blind to see

#artificialintelligence

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence, machine vision and image-recognition technology are opening up the digital world to the blind and visually impaired – and helping them to interact with their surroundings. One interesting example is Austrian start-up BLITAB, which has created the first ever tactile tablet for blind and visually impaired people, dubbed "the iPad for the blind". As Kristina Tsvetanova, co-founder & CEO at BLITAB Technology, explains, the device looks similar to an ebook but displays small physical bubbles instead of using a screen, which means users can view whole pages of braille text at once, without any mechanical elements. "It offers a completely new user experience for braille and non-braille readers via touch navigation, text-to-speech output and Perkins-style keyboard application. It also enables the direct conversion of any text file into braille and obtains information via NFC tags.


What These Engineers Are Doing To Make Facebook More Accessible To Visually Impaired Users

#artificialintelligence

For many of us, accessing our favorite social media sites is as easy as opening our browser or mobile app. We log in and expect it to simply work. But for blind and visually impaired users who work with screen reader software, accessibility is far from simple. With websites like Facebook, accessibility has to be coded into the back end. Their content must be able to be interpreted by a screen reader, which outputs the content either by reading it out loud, or by showing it on a refreshable Braille display.


Facebook helps blind users 'see' photos with AI and image-recognition technology

#artificialintelligence

Facebook is rolling out a new feature that will automatically describe the content of photos to blind and visually impaired users. Called automatic alternative text, the feature uses artificial intelligence to identify visual content and provide a description for people using screen readers. While scrolling through Facebook, blind and visually impaired users will hear the name of the person followed by the word "photo" when they scroll past an image post by a user. Automatic alt text will then describe a list of themes of the image, such as "three people, smiling, outdoors" or "two people, smiling, sunglasses, sky, tree, outdoor". According to Facebook, more than two million photos are shared on social media every day, yet as content becomes more visual, many blind and visually impaired users are left feeling excluded.