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Envisioning an Audio Based Operating System

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Microsoft Windows pretty much requires that you see in order to operate the computer.

I have been watching the tv show Daredevil, which is the first convincing depiction of a blind man who can’t see the world yet manages to navigate it better than most people with vision can.

In Star Trek, the computer system in use can be interacted with through both voice command and through hand gestures made against a screen.

I think I was born blind.

And I lost my hearing at around the age of 8 when my left and right eardrums broke one year after another.

I developed vision which I think may be different than the world around me.

And similarly, while I did redevelop my hearing, I can hear perfectly fine while covering my ears so my hearing developed differently. I suspect some of it was originally based on acoustical impressions – vibrations of sound against my head, but I think there’s more to it than that. I think I hear ‘through energy’, the way sound works and interacts with energy itself.

None of this matters.

As the simple fact is – people who are blind, without vision, in my world at least – do not have options for computing.

They have phones which do voice to text.

They have computers which will read to them.

But when they talk to computers, the computers – like Star Trek Computers – don’t talk to them.

They can’t use match.com or dating web sites because they can’t do so much as browse the internet.

They can’t leverage skype to call their friends or family cheaper than land lines.

They can’t even drive an self driving car because they can’t issue a destination command.

They can’t even download movies to listen to them.

Hell, they can’t even play games. As who’s creating video games for blind people?

Just today, I received a Kinect device for development.

I’ve had one before.

But being sincere. With so many people doing 3d, I began thinking.

The Kinect can triangulate my position because it has a phased array set of microphones.

With the Kinect I can identify sources visually and provide feedback and information to visually impaired users about the surrounding environment.

But most of all.

What better way to refine Google like searches than by providing voice activated searches and find a way to return the results verbally?


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