Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do if they want the visually impaired community to start using their smart phones. Nokia is hoping that their Nokia Create contest will encourage developers to make more apps for the Windows Phone platform. There are eight categories for apps, and one of them is to make apps that are accessible to the visually impaired. According to the Microsoft Accessibility blog, developers can submit apps that are as basic as adding vibration to the compass, or as complex as using the built in camera for image recognition. There are ten categories of apps that Nokia is looking for. These include "Image and Photo, Near Field Communication, Maps and Places, Music, Cross-8,
Fun and Games, Work Life,Freestyle, Nokia Lumia Devices, and Remote Device Access." Developers have until December 15 to submit their apps.
It will be interesting to see how effective the contest is at adding to the accessible app options. Having choice is the best way to encourage innovation. It is my hope that at some point, Microsoft can add their name to the list of smart phones that the visually impaired community will want to use because it meets their needs and improves independence.Source: Go to source
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For the past three years Alena has been a feature writer for the online magazine Matilda Ziegler. She has also been a contractor for the Oregon Commission for the Blind, helping blind adults learn to use adaptive technology. She is studying to be a teacher of the visually impaired at Portland State. You might also recognize her from the Serotalk podcast Triple Click Home.