In South Korea, consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung is looking at ways that technology, including artificial intelligence, can help people with disabilities. Samsung says its developers are “listening closely to the feedback of those with disabilities, and developing tests so they can directly experience the inconveniences themselves.” Samsung says it is developing a number of technologies with an eye to ensuring accessibility for anyone and everyone, that have the potential to dramatically help those with disabilities, the elderly, and many others. Here are a few examples:
High-contrast smartphone keyboards and sound recognition
Samsung’s Galaxy S9 smartphones offer high-contrast keyboards to aid people with visual impairment. Users can also activate the Voice Assistant, which describes what is touched, and activated through spoken feedback. This allows visually impaired users to edit text or change settings with familiar swipe and tap gestures. This phone can also aid the hearing impaired by picking up the sound of a doorbell ringing or a baby crying and notifying the user through visual cues and vibration.
Samsung TV owners can now adjust the colors of their menu as needed. As well, a new app called “SeeColors” has been designed to help the 300 million people living with colour blindness around the world. Samsung’ Digital Appliances Division invited a panel of visually impaired people to its lab in its Seoul, South Korea to share their challenges with using digital appliances in daily life.
“Bixby” for home appliances
This year, Samsung embedded voice recognition into its new home appliances. Washers and dryers equipped with “Bixby” can be beneficial to someone who is visually impaired. At least one tester was pleased with the results. “While laundry may be a simple daily task for others, it can be difficult for those with visual impairment. With FlexWash, I was able to do laundry on my own for the first time in my life.”