Presentation on theme: "Project FORthSIGHT (blueprint) Attila Kürtösi 2006."— Presentation transcript:
project FORthSIGHT (blueprint) Attila Kürtösi 2006
FORthSIGHT Prologue: The number of the blind and visually impaired in Hungary is estimated to be 44 thousand. Today many of them have the possibility to use the internet but in our ’grafics oriented’ world their access to information is not increasing but dramatically decreasing despite of the 1998 equal opportunity act regulating the right to have access to information. Summing up: in order to make visually impaired people equal and helpful members of today’s information society not the reduction of requirements but the development of easily appliable computer peripheral devices should be Present study aims to give an alternative solution to the latter.
FORthSIGHT The affected: visually impaired blind II.I. set of I. \ set of II. = people with limited vision (has a wide range – it can extend from total sightlessness to full eyesight)
FORthSIGHT IMPROVEMENT OF VISIBILITY AND OTHER SENSUAL AIDED INFORMATION TRANSFER (HEARING, TOUCH) Enlarging applications Speech synthetizers Special systems ONLY FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED! Joint usage of the above mentioned is also possible Support for computer usage of visually impaired:
FORthSIGHT Special systems: Typical realization is the Braille-display. The basis for its functioning is a special symbol system consisting of dots (Braille alphabet). It’s a solution mainly for totally sightless people. Information is carried by the stimulus inducated by touch. For these people written records mean Braille reading. Portable devices equipped with such screens and own CPU are also available. Disadvantages: considerable price (1,000,000 HUF) and exclusive foreign serviceability. Because of these reasons only a few devices are used in Hungary and only a fraction of them are owned by individuals.
FORthSIGHT Speech synthetizers: It is the most widespread application. Many different realizations exist for example the very famous Hungarian BraiLab wich is a separate computer device (interpreter) that has had several versions since the eighties. Of course software realizations also exist. These are the so-called screen readers. The most popular ones are JAWS for Windows, Window-Eyes, LookOUT and WinTalker. Disadvantages: in the case of speech sythetizers the most significant disadvantages are the expenses (JAWS: 210,000 HUF → approximately 100 users). Besides the price technical problems may also occur. Most of these applications have only character mode as it is quite difficult to develop AI-s capable to recover textual information from graphical content. In fact they can convert only texts into audio formats.
FORthSIGHT Enlarging applications: Basically software-based solutions are concerned (MAGic, ZoomText) that is a part of the screen (standard output) is enlarged to the desired rate. There are, though rare, other, partially hardware-based solutions for example: reading TV wich is a screen attached to a video camera. The text is placed in front of the video camera on a rolling tray that can be driven to two perpendicular directions. Zooming can be switched to either negative or positive. Disadvantages: just like in the previous cases, for an unknown reason (not necessarily the quality of the service rather the market’s gap) the price of these softwares is also high. Most enlarging programs use a so-called rastergraphics technique that is based on pixels of the screen and the geometrical arrangement of them is the etalon for the enlargement and not the mathematical vector formula. So in case of low quality monitors and small characters the outcome is dim and therefore useless. A new MS Windows based trend is spreading where MS programs are used as motors and separate applications based on them are developped for visually impaired. Unfortunately this practice is implemented by only few companies.
FORthSIGHT Things to be considered when developping applications for visually impaired people: For people living with this disorder perceived information sometimes means something totally different than for those with full eyesight.For people living with this disorder perceived information sometimes means something totally different than for those with full eyesight. Good contrast is very important, dark background and light foreground, no background pattern (non ruled).Good contrast is very important, dark background and light foreground, no background pattern (non ruled). Motion picture is difficult to watch because of quick visual frequency.Motion picture is difficult to watch because of quick visual frequency. When using figures simplified style is important, any decorations may disturb recognition.When using figures simplified style is important, any decorations may disturb recognition. The size of the used font should be proportionate to its width.The size of the used font should be proportionate to its width. The user should be allowed to refit the size of objects on screen.The user should be allowed to refit the size of objects on screen. To have a non-crowded text on screen is important. The mingling of fonts and the small size of them and the different directons of writing can be disturbing.To have a non-crowded text on screen is important. The mingling of fonts and the small size of them and the different directons of writing can be disturbing. While watching from a short distance the central visual field is greatly narrowed. They can not see the whole word so it is difficult to remember the entire image.While watching from a short distance the central visual field is greatly narrowed. They can not see the whole word so it is difficult to remember the entire image. Information gathered from the internet is usually processed off-lineInformation gathered from the internet is usually processed off-line
FORthSIGHT Some words about the physiology of visually impaired people: Precision movement: visually impaired children’s precision movement develops very slowly, it may cause troubles in using different devices, starting, performing and stopping a movement can be difficult for them. There are great differences in performing movements, in accuracy and speed of movements between low visioned and sighted children. Because of the above mentioned the eye-hand coordination is not perfect the use of a mouse is more difiicult. The closer the icons to each other the more difficult to select them and to click on them. It is advisable to slow down the mouse and it is OBLIGATORY to provide keyboard navigation. Unfortunaterly the latter is a weakness of presently available enlarging softwares.
FORthSIGHT Innovations that FORthSIGHT hides: Our software package has been designed basicly for the products of Microsoft Corporation as a „read” (output function). This area includes the MS Office tools (Word, Outlook, etc.) and the MS Internet Explorer, MS Windows Notepad, Viewer as well. The FORthSIGHT’s main goal is to separate the text based informations retrieved from the aforementioned applications according to the user demands. This text can be easily resized and thumbed by simple mouse/keyboard controls. The other field of application is the „write” (output) function. By the help of this service all the keyboard events display on the FORthSIGHT’s program window as a controll function with optional surface colour themes. It’s important to mention that the FORthSIGHT uses vector graphical system due to the font handling of MS Windows operating systems. Other advantage is the low price compared to other similar software products. Summing up the preceding informations, the result of our work is a screen resolution independent software wich is able to display sections of the given text format documents (web site,.doc,.txt, etc.) considered to the topical font size set by the user with simple keyboard/mouse controls where both the write and read function (I/O) are obtainable. For further improvement we planned the integrity of a MIDI based speech synthetizer in case of successfull product launch.
FORthSIGHT List of references and other links related to the topic: