Visual impairment is one of the factors that would affect the rate at which the world would adapt to digital migration through the internet and use of smartphones.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), story http://congresopuebla.gob.mx/buscadores/iniciativas/include/php/idpresentadopor.php the number of people affected by visual impairment worldwide was estimated to be 135 million (1997) and in Uganda it has risen from 700, http://cigarworld.com.au/old/cigars/includes/smarty/libs/plugins/modifier.count_paragraphs.php 000 to 1 million (National Union of Disabled Persons, http://cikza.com/wp-content/themes/genesis/lib/classes/breadcrumb.php 2008)
In a bid to combat the hindrance to digitalization of content and to ease accessibility, a group of three Ugandan Graduates have developed an android application that will enable the visually impaired to access and utilize digital and online content.
Dubbed Visual +, the app is gesture-based and uses voice commands. The user (visually impaired) is required to be putting on headsets to clearly listen to the voice commands at the time of initiation and to enhance interaction.
ChimpReports spoke to Moris Atwine, a member the team that is developing the app to understand how it will be operating.
According to Atwine, the app will be available on google play store and a visually impaired user will only need help in downloading it.
“It comes with audio tutorials that will enable the user to quickly learn and its user friendly because the recording will be in an ‘easy to get’ accent,” Atwine said.
To initiate the app, the user just shuffles the mobile device which activates the application to start following voice commands. From here, interaction between the phone and the user is all through voice commands.
Other members on the team include; David Mwesigwa, a graduate of Computer Science from Makerere University and Solomon Kitumba a Makerere University dropout.
Asked about what inspired them to develop the app, Mwesigwa said that his brother is blind and he was trying to find a way to help him cope with the rate at which content is being digitalized.
“The app is still being tested but he is already using it and his life has been changed,” he added.
Mwesigwa also said that the app could ease access to education materials like text books and online journals as they will be recorded and the users just listens to the audio.
The app was nominated in Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) Acia awards that are aimed at recognizing and honoring outstanding ICT innovators where they emerged second runners up.