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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES USING TOUCH, VOICE, AND MULTI-MODAL INPUT FOR USERS WITH DISABILITIES OR IMPAIRMENTS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238038D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-28

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The subject disclosure relates to various assistive technologies that provide accessible modes on computing devices for users with disabilities or impairments. The assistive technologies may include spoken feedback such as synthesized speech and sound effects, voice recognition, face recognition, multi-modal input, etc. The disclosed assistive technologies may improve the way users with disabilities or impairments interact with computing devices, thereby making the computing devices more accessible, intuitive, and easier to use.

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 ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES USING TOUCH, VOICE AND MULTI- MODAL INPUT FOR USERS WITH DISABILITIES OR IMPAIRMENTS

Abstract

    The subject disclosure relates to various assistive technologies that provide accessible modes on computing devices for users with disabilities or impairments. The assistive technologies may include spoken feedback such as synthesized speech and sound effects,voice recognition,facerecognition, multi-modal input, etc. The disclosed assistive technologies may improve the way users with disabilities or impairments interact with computing devices, thereby making the computing devices more accessible, intuitive, and easier to use.

    In general, assistive technology provides accessibility of information to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and/or disabilities. For example, assistive technology includes software, hardware, or a combination of the two, for assisting a user in interacting with a computing device.

    In general, computing devices (e.g., computers or mobile devices) may have an accessible mode that is designed to be accessible to users with a visual impairment. The accessible mode may be in the form of an operating system feature that is enabled, third-party software, or the mode may be built into a device that is specifically designed for users with the visual impairment. As an alternative or as a supplement to visual user interfaces on computing devices, the accessible mode may use synthesized speech and sound effects (e.g., an 'earcon' corresponding to a brief, distinctive sound used to represent a specific event or convey other information) to assist the user.

    For example, on a desktop computer, a user may install a third-party screen reader that reads the text of any item on the screen when the user navigates to the item using the keyboard. Similarly, a mobile device with a touch screen might speak the name of each item on the screen when the user touches the item with their finger, rather than activating the item immediately. In addition to speech, the accessible mode on computing devices may play a sound, and sometimes the sound can indicate the type of object, or what type of interactions are possible on the user interface. Sounds may also be used for events such as when a window for an application opens

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or closes, when there is an alert requiring the user's intention, and when the user presses a key that does not work in this mode, etc. However, information that is conveyed by use of the accessible mode, such as an earcon or sound effect, may still be somewhat limited for visually impaired users. For example, the accessible mode may often provide a static, slow, simple user experience, while the user may desire an experience in which information is provided in a more dynamic manner.

    In addition, the accessible mode may be limited in the input methods a user can utilize when operating a computing device. Most commonly, users rely on a keybo...