Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Apple Adds Speech Recognition to iOS Devices

The latest version of Apple's iOS system for iPhones and iPads includes Siri, a powerful speech recognition and assistance feature. With Siri you can control your device by voice as well as dictate content and ask questions in natural language. Siri may engage you in a dialogue to clarify what you're after, then follow through as the context and your commands indicate. Here's a video of it, showing different users, including one who is blind.

Source: Accessible Technology Coalition - 

RoboBraille Offers Free Conversion to Braille or Audio

RoboBraille is an email service which will convert digital text documents into either Braille or audio files. You can email or use the web to give them your file and the system will give you a document that is either an audio file or Braille file. Your file can be a .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, .xml, .html, .htm, .rtf, .epub, .mobi, .tiff, .tif, .gif, .jpg, .bmp, .pcx, .dcx, .j2k, .jp2, .jpx, .djv and .asc file.  The file they send back can be mp3 audio, Daisy full text and audio, e-Book, document conversion, or Braille. For the audio files, you can choose 12 languages other than English, as well. While it is a computer generated voice, the speech is very high quality and is fairly engaging. It takes a day to get your file.

The inventors were honored with a 2010 BETTS Award. The system is being funded in Europe and users can make contributions. It is free to individuals and commercial users pay a licencing fee.

Source: Accessible Technology Coalition -