These are all the news presented by Google to celebrate World Accessibility Awareness Day.
On the third Thursday of May of each year, the World Accessibility Awareness Day. This 2023 has taken place on May 18 and, to raise awareness about the importance of this date, Google has presented 5 great innovations related to accessibility They reach out to some of their most important products to improve the lives of their users.
As explained by Google in its blogits teams work every day to make the world a more accessible place, especially in relation to the digital sphere. products as important as maps and Chrome have been the most recent to receive new features and tools that try to make them more accessible to usersLet’s see what they consist of.
AI to develop the alternative text of the images
The alternative text of the images is key so that people who are blind or have vision problems can know a description of what appears in the photograph. The problem is that, unfortunately, most of the images published on the web have no alt text or the description that it offers barely provides information to the user. Therefore, people with vision difficulties they cannot know what the image consists of in question.
Google wants to solve this problem with a function called “image question and answer” that works with Artificial Intelligence and is integrated into the Lookout project. When an image doesn’t have good alt text, this tool can analyze the image to describe to the user what it is about. In addition, the user himself can make questions to the AI for know more information about the content of the photo.
For now, this function is in testing phase with a limited number of blind and partially sighted people. If its development goes well, the idea is that its availability is extended in the future.
Better signage on Maps of wheelchair-accessible places
Google Maps is now a much more useful platform for users by show accessibility icon directly in the information preview of an establishment. Just by touching the name of the restaurant, business or gas station, we can know if it is accessible to be able to go in a wheelchairwith the baby carriage or with a suitcase. In addition, if we tap on the “Info.” option, we can also find out if it has toilets and parking spaces adapted for wheelchair users.
If you see that an establishment does not have this type of accessibility information, you can add the data directly with the option “Edit the features” on Android and “Update this place” on iOS.
Live Caption available for more users
Live Caption is the Google tool that takes care of display subtitles in real time for any audio play on mobile or Chrome and Meet on desktop. Starting this summer, Live Caption will be updated with three great new features. First, it will have a new subtitle box optimized for Android tablets. Second, it will receive a real-time captioning feature that will allow the user write answers during a call and do what read aloud for the recipient.
Finally, Live Caption will have support for French, Italian and German languages on the Google Pixel 4 and 5, as well as other select Android devices.
Wear OS 4 with a new text-to-speech tool
Wear OS 4 is now officialso we know the news that the new version of Google’s operating system for smart watches will have. In terms of accessibility, the software will come with a new faster and more reliable text-to-speech tool. In this way, users who are blind or have low vision will get a much better experience with the wearable.
Chrome will suggest websites even with typos
Among Google’s accessibility innovations, Google Chrome also plays an important role. web browser now detect spelling errors when we write in the navigation bar and displays website suggestions based on corrections. Google knows your search history, so it knows what you’re looking for even if it’s misspelled.
This feature is intended to help users with dyslexia, those learning a new language, and basically anyone who often makes spelling mistakes. This now available on the desktop version of Chromewith its arrival on mobile devices in the coming months.