Researchers develop an app to help the blind take better photos
A team of researchers led by PhD student Dustin Adams at the University of California, Santa Cruz have created camera app that might help the blind take photos. No, we’re not just talking about “bad photographers,” but those who are actually visually impaired.
The camera app brings several features that make it easier for the visually impaired to take photos. For example, it replaces the somewhat hard-to-locate shutter button with a swiping motion on the screen, making it easier to snap a photograph.
It also uses audio cues in conjunction with face detection technology to tell the photographer how many faces are actually in the frame, which could help prevent you from leaving someone out of the photo. To help manage your photos, the app integrates a tagging system that lets you attach a 30 second audio recording to every photograph for easier photo identification.
To develop the app, Adams and his team first fielded a questionnaire to 54 people with varying levels of visual impairment to ask them what gave them the most trouble when they took photos. From there, the team used the survey data to craft an app with features that would suitable to help blind smartphone users.
Don't go looking for this app on the App Store or Google Play just yet, though. The UC Santa Cruz team will present the results of the study—as well as the app—at the Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments conference in Rhodes, Greece later this month. In the meantime, though, you can check out the full research paper for yourself.
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