At first glance (seriously, no pun intended), you might wonder whether there are many blind photographers who need mobile apps in the world. It turns out, there are. And accessibility researchers at UC Santa Cruz want to help them take and share photos better.
The researchers surveyed legally blind and partially blind tech users and made a number of realizations that formed the basis for a new unnamed app. Among their findings:
- Most respondents have a great desire to take photos on their own without help.
- Not surprisingly, blind photographers have major difficulties in framing and focusing their shots.
- Respondents really want to be able to share their photos online, but find it difficult to do so.
- Labeling and identifying photos is challenging with current technology.
So the researchers created an app, which they’ll demonstrate at PETRAE in Greece later this month. The app tries to address most of the major struggles that seeing-impaired mobile photographers have been experiencing.
The app will allow users to swipe to take a picture, rather than looking for a button. Facial recognition detection and voice features will allow the photographer to determine how many faces are in the picture. The app also lets the photographer automatically record audio memos to accompany the photo set and GPS coordinates are translated into audio for better location identification. Another cool part of the app is that it immediately begins recording ambient audio after each shot to help the photographer identify the photo later.
Hopefully, we’ll see this app brought to the public soon. The potential is pretty huge, even if it’s counterintuitive.