Handy apps and gadgets for the visually impaired

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Health apps and devices are unimaginable for sighted folks. They will observe your health degree, provide help to keep on observe with weight-reduction plan and vitamin, join you to communities of different customers, and extra.


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The brand new wave of health wearables and apps are extremely empowering for folks with disabilities, particularly those that are blind or low-vision.

The devoted smartphone apps high the checklist of accessibility choices since they are often made usable by display screen readers, permitting blind customers to navigate the menus and enter their information.

As expertise turns into extra accessible to folks with disabilities, there’s been elevated curiosity in creating well being and health apps, wearables, and different merchandise which can be accessible to all.

Addressing these points is vital so that folks with all talents can have entry to the identical alternatives for staying wholesome and lively.

Nevertheless, given the wide range of disabilities on the market that impression customers’ talents to work together with expertise independently.

It’s very important for corporations making well being tech to grasp how their merchandise may very well be utilized by folks with various kinds of disabilities.

Devices like smartwatches are nice for folks with imaginative and prescient impairments as a result of they supply another type of interplay that may in any other case be unavailable to them.

In contrast to smartphones and computer systems the place you’ve entry to a display screen reader or braille show. Some smartwatches don’t have these built-in accessibility options.

However when you pair a smartwatch along with your cellphone’s voice assistant app (equivalent to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) you may nonetheless use your watch with out having to depend on visible cues.

Nevertheless, a substantial amount of these health purposes shouldn’t be accessible to blind folks. Some are even inbuilt a method that makes them not possible for blind folks to make use of in any respect.

Because the blind group continues to develop in dimension and expertise turns into extra inexpensive, we’re seeing an increasing number of well being apps pop up which can be made particularly for blind customers.

Adaptive expertise has all the time been very important for enhancing the standard of life for the blind.

Immediately’s merchandise embrace devices equivalent to working guides, outside cellphone trackers, and sports activities watches with voice management.

Right here’s a listing of a few of the greatest health apps obtainable to blind customers and get began utilizing them.

1. Fitbit

Most trendy digital units are suitable with accessibility options like display screen readers, braille shows, and magnification software program.

For instance, the best-selling wearable health machine Fitbit has a built-in braille show and works with many fashionable display screen readers equivalent to JAWS and ZoomText.

The app for iPhone and Android has wonderful assist for blind customers together with VoiceOver (for iOS) and TalkBack (for Android).

This app offers step-by-step directions in case you’re making an attempt to make use of it by yourself by your self. You don’t need to be fully blind to profit from the well being monitoring companies supplied by health apps and devices.

Many of those merchandise are additionally helpful for individuals who have low imaginative and prescient or are nonetheless studying braille. As a result of they remove the necessity to learn conventional train tools that could be tough to function with out sight.

The GPS-tracker watch additionally has a built-in Alexa assistant that may learn these stats aloud everytime you ask it to. A Fitbit not solely tracks these metrics but additionally lets you ask Alexa to learn them again to you.

That is significantly useful for these with low imaginative and prescient or no imaginative and prescient in any respect. They will activate the assistant on the watch by urgent the bodily button for two seconds on the aspect of the watch.

To make use of this characteristic, merely say “Alexa, ask Fitbit what number of steps I’ve taken at present” or “Ask Fitbit how lengthy I slept final evening.” The solutions will probably be learn aloud by Alexa via the Fitbit watch or tracker.

2. Aaptiv: Audio Health App

Aaptiv is an modern, music-driven health platform that makes high-quality exercise audio accessible to folks with various levels of sight loss.

It contains individualized applications in lots of health classes: working, energy, biking, yoga, meditation, and extra.

Due to consumer opinions that describe its ease of use and adaptive performance, Aaptiv is without doubt one of the extra fashionable apps for people who find themselves blind or low-vision.

Aaptiv helps you to stream and obtain greater than 2,500 trainer-led, music-driven exercises from the comfort of your cellphone.

With Aaptiv, you may select from quite a lot of completely different exercise lessons, starting from 7-minute classes to full-length coaching applications.

Aaptiv’s exercises mix cardio and energy coaching whereas additionally that includes stretching and stretching workouts to enhance flexibility.

There’s a large number of completely different lessons and playlists to select from, and whether or not you’re a newbie or a marathon runner, there are alternatives obtainable for everybody.

For the numerous apps on this checklist that assist customers create more healthy lives for themselves. Aaptiv is yet one more incredible app so as to add to their roster.

The most important issue going through blind individuals who wish to undertake a health routine stays their lack of sight. Most coaches depend on visible cues to information new college students in the fitting path. However how can a blind individual create or get pleasure from an at-home health program with out seeing it?

Aaptiv is a subscription-based service that options audio podcasts created by health professionals and coaches.

These professionals will lead their shoppers via numerous exercises with guided instruction. It’s accessible sufficient to nonetheless be useful if you need further steering whereas doing one thing like pilates or working.

3. BlindSquare

Like most people who find themselves blind or visually impaired know, it may be onerous to get round in unfamiliar environments.

In an workplace constructing, a shopping center, or a resort—all locations the place you could want to seek out the restroom or ask get to your assembly.

It may be not possible to determine the place you might be with out strolling right into a wall or being informed by somebody who has no enterprise realizing the place you’re going.

The BlindSquare app for Android and Apple telephones solves that drawback with GPS and different location-based companies.

It is a GPS app that helps you discover your method round unfamiliar locations by making use of audio cues and text-to-speech expertise.

It makes use of Google Maps and works with voice instructions. So, it’s simple to make use of even when you’re not acquainted with the streets of your metropolis.

It additionally has a helpful characteristic the place it tells you when a crosswalk is arising, which might be very useful when you’re crossing streets whereas strolling round city.

Analyzing GPS coordinates in addition to Wi-Fi indicators from close by mobile towers, BlindSquare can find you inside about 5 meters (16 toes) or much less wherever on this planet the place there are cellphone towers or Wi-Fi indicators that it could actually latch onto.

It then gathers details about the encompassing atmosphere from FourSquare—the database during which folks world wide give details about their location—and calculates what well-known landmarks are closest to your location.

Mother and father also can use parental management apps with GPS-tracking options to control their youngsters’s actions.

The applying speaks out the data it gathers in an easy-to-understand voice. BlindSquare has some distinctive algorithms in that solely related data is given, making it simpler for customers to adapt to their environment.

Along with its general accuracy, BlindSquare has various different options that make it stand out from comparable purposes.

It could actually communicate instructions in real-time, permitting the consumer to maintain his or her eyes on their path. It additionally speaks details about companies in a extra human method, giving companies names somewhat than GPS coordinates and giving moderately sized items of knowledge as a substitute of lengthy blocks of textual content.

4. Seeing AI

Seeing AI, an app developed by Microsoft is a free app obtainable on iOS and Android telephones. The app goals to help the blind in navigating their environment in order that they’ll go about their day by day lives independently.

The app makes use of synthetic intelligence to determine objects and inform customers what they’re and the place they’re situated in relation to the consumer.

All one wants is a cellphone and headphones with a built-in mic. The first method the app works is by recording audio as you stroll round your environment.

The app will then describe what’s round you in real-time. So long as the consumer retains speaking whereas recording audio, there’s no restrict to how far they’ll discover or how briskly they’ll stroll.

All of the consumer has to do is level the smartphone’s digital camera at one thing. The app will learn the textual content on the display screen, describe it, and even learn out data from Wikipedia.

The app is free to make use of and might be downloaded from the Apple Retailer with a handbook that explains use it.

Along with text-to-speech performance, Seeing AI can assist customers who’re visually impaired discover their method round by describing objects of their environment and even figuring out forex, which is extraordinarily useful once you’re procuring or paying for issues.

In the end, Seeing AI is an unimaginable software that each visually impaired or blind individual ought to add to their cellphone. It could actually assist them navigate their world higher, and doubtlessly scale back the quantity of help they want from family and friends.

The app is definitely not good. Nevertheless it takes a bit extra effort and time to make nice strides on this subsequent stage of synthetic intelligence.

Identical to Google’s Go victory exhibits that AI can beat one of the best people in technique video games, Seeing AI exhibits that AI has entered a brand new section of improvement with apps that may detect, acknowledge and describe scenes round you in real-time. It’s unimaginable to assume simply how far we’ve got come prior to now 12 months alone.

5. BrailleBuzz

BrailleBuzz is an academic, interactive toy that teaches braille literacy and phonics to youngsters with visible impairments.

The consumer selects a letter on the toy’s huge “keyboard” and BrailleBuzz speaks the braille letter, makes it audibly click on, reads the phrase aloud, and even exhibits the corresponding braille phrase on its display screen.

Regardless that the machine isn’t designed for blind adults who wish to study braille, it has a couple of options that make it related for them too.

For instance, when you select a phrase that doesn’t exist in braille (or that you just haven’t but realized), the machine will learn the phrase aloud, so that you get immediate suggestions in your spelling accuracy.

It may also be utilized by sighted folks to learn to learn primary phrases in braille with out making errors.

The beauty of BrailleBuzz is that it doesn’t use any type of digital expertise. It’s solely analog—and it’s very sturdy and simple to wash. The battery lasts a very long time.

The sport is meant to assist with early literacy expertise and encourage younger learners to observe braille characters and phonics.

I believe BrailleBuzz represents an vital step in accessible literacy. Having a bodily object that enables younger youngsters to have enjoyable with their alphabet feels proper.

Its design emphasizes expertise over expertise, and that may solely assist youngsters study via play.


Remember the fact that the marketplace for expertise geared towards the visually impaired is a comparatively untapped market.

The progress we’ve seen on this space is definitely promising, however there’s nonetheless room to develop. As client expertise turns into extra sturdy, it’s seemingly that extra builders will flip their consideration to this area of interest. We’ll see extra inventive concepts buzzing round within the years to come back.

The long run is promising for the blind, as corporations like Fitbit are implementing new options to raised accommodate their wants.

Quickly sufficient, the blind will have the ability to select helpful health apps that meet their distinctive wants, really feel safe realizing that the apps are correct, and even obtain suggestions about their efficiency instantly via Alexa.

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