The blind can now participate in the smartphone revolution, thanks to an innovative Israeli-developed cellphone application.
The eyes-free mobile communications application, called RAY, is based on a regular Android smartphone with the American company Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor. The development was part of Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative to improve the lives of communities throughout the world with third-generation technologies.
The multipurpose and easy-to-use phone is synchronized with the audio content of the Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped. After installing the application, users can use a touch screen, on which every finger movement triggers a certain function. Blind users, for example, can take pictures with a built-in camera of what is occurring in their homes and transmit the images to distant family members, allowing these family members to help out their blind relative without having to be physically present. A blind user can also choose music and books to listen to and almost all regular smartphone options are available.
The user interface supports a wide range of services including voice calls, text messaging with voice reading, navigation, object recognition, social networking services and access to audio books and other entertainment and leisure activities offered by the Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped.
Distribution of the device in Israel is expected to start within a month.