Qualcomm in association with Project Ray is developing an eye-free mobile device for the blind. The mobile phone is reportedly named as ‘Ray’. The mobile phone will operate on standard Android operating system and Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. However, the important attraction in this device would be the specially designed user interface for visually impaired people.
The user interface has specific features such as redesigned touch screen functionality, haptics and text-to-speech functionality in addition to audio feedback. These features would allow visually impaired users to comfortably use basic mobile phone operations such as making and receiving calls, text messages, e-mails and also engage in social networking with ease and comfort. Boaz Zilberman, Chief Executive Officer of Project RAY was stated as saying, “The breakthrough UI defines a new language for human-device interaction that is built ground-up for eye-free operation.”
The mobile device can initiate a particular action as soon as a person taps the relevant position in the device screen. The navigations are then enabled by some simpler finger movements across varied directions. User feedbacks are provided with the help of in-built vibration capabilities and also voice prompts. The user interface of Ray mobile device is also designed for adaptive learning where it can learn and understand the usage behaviour, preferences and patterns of the user.
Qualcomm has confirmed that the company has already begun doing trails of Ray mobile phone in Israel. Users are now using the device for download and accessing of the audio books, periodicals and magazines in the ‘Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped’. The company is trying to make access and downloading possible across an advanced mobile broadband network instead of waiting for the CDs over mail.