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Month: April 2018

Dr Scott Hollier to give public ‘seeing without light’ lecture at UWA

It’s a great privlege to let you know that on Wednesday 18 April I’ll be giving a free public lecture at the University of Western Australia titled ‘The Seeing without Light: how people with disability are embracing emerging technologies’.

My presentation will discuss how the rapid evolution of computers and mobile devices has had a significant impact on how we engage online and with each other. Yet for people with disabilities, including visual impairment, such technologies represent far more than just the sum of their parts – it is ultimately a gateway for independence. With emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and the Internet of Things, how can we ensure that people with disability continue to be a part of our digital culture? I’ll demonstrate how people with disability are currently able to engage with consumer devices along with the benefits and issues associated with our new and emerging consumer digital needs.

This talk is part of the 2018 Light Talks series, “Living with and without light.” The aim is to raise awareness about the experience of vision impaired people in a globalized and technological world. This series is presented by UWA Optical Society (OSA) student chapter and the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies.

If you live in the Perth area and would like to come along, the details are as follows:

When: Wednesday 18 April 2018

Time: 6pm-7pm

Where: Austin Lecture Theatre, UWA Arts Building

Cost: Free

RSVP: online via http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/hollier

Thanks very much to the organisers for the opportunity and looking forward to hopefully seeing some of you there.

Eye-D Android app now also available on iPhone

The popular Eye-D Android app, a ‘swiss-army knife’ style collection of tools designed to assist people who are blind or vision impaired, is now available for iOS devices such as the Apple iPhone.

Eye-D app menu screen

Screenshot of Eye-D app menu screen

The Eye-D app contains a number of useful accessibility features with a particular focus on supporting people who are blind or have low vision. Features include the ‘Where am I?’ function which uses GPS to provide users with the closest street addresss, the ability to identify an object in an image and the ability to take a photo of text which is then read out. The app also has an ‘around me’ function which allows the user to find key features in their surroundings such as food places, bus stops, banks, and cinemas, then provides the option to send the information to Google Maps so the user can navigate to that location.

While the app has been available on Android devices for several years, the app has only just launched for the Apple iPhone. The standard Eye-D app is free and a Pro version is available for purchase. A second collection of features available for purchase includes an advanced OCR scanner for different languages and a colour identifier.

The arrival of this app and the similar Seeing AI app by Microsoft on the iPhone marks a recent trend towards bundling multiple features into one app.  Further information on the Eye-D app can be found in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store respectively.