Messaging system for visually impaired people on Android

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Dr. Gyires-Tóth Bálint Pál
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

Nowadays there is a huge demand for smartphones on the market of phone devices. Due to technical progress and extended functions, like network, and GPS connections, smartphones became besides the basic phone functions entertaining, and information handling gadgets. There are several mobile operating systems, but today’s market leader is Google Android, which is used in more than half of smartphones.

Although these devices enjoy in wide spread use, have interesting and useful features as well as the various communication possibilities, unfortunately they often do not meet the needs of blind and visually impaired people. More or less information come in visual form to the screen, and contrary the simple cell phones, there is just a hand-sized-touch-screen available for the user to control applications. Due to the lack of the physical keyboard and the proper design of applications, visually impaired people could not enjoy the advantages of these features.

My main goal is to design and develop such a message management system for this user group, which can handle SMS and E-mail messages as well. It continually communicates with the user through the TTS (Text-to-Speech) engine, and provides loud help guide for each view. Beside the proper SUI (Speech User Interface), I also produced an efficient GUI (Graphical User Interface), which handles text size scaling, changing different color schemes, and allows gesture events, which could help users navigate more easily between menu items.

At the end of my paper I describe the results of tests and my future plans are also mentioned.


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