Tag Archives: siri

Can Google Assistant and Voice Search Really Help Those Who Need it the Most ? – State of Digital

There are many voice activated devices to help us in the home and at work, including Google Assistant, Alexa from Amazon, Siri from Apple and Cortana from Microsoft.

Strategy Analytics predicted that in Q4 2017 that smart speakers would reach 12 million units world wide and so 24 million for all of 2017.

Google unveiled their voice controlled Assistant in May 2016 which is an upgrade of Google Now and they have built upon the “OK Google” voice controls but how much can these voice activated devices really help us?

Some of us take our health for granted. One day I woke up and had blurry vision out of my good eye. I could not see my screen very well to read or do work, but luckily this was just temporary. However, RNIB states that in the UK, there are over 2 million people living with sight loss. This number is expected to rise to nearly 4 million by 2050.

But what is being done in terms of voice search to help these people access the internet?

I thought voice search would open up the world of the internet to more people who due to a disability or visual impairness could not use it. I thought older family members who have a hard time seeing clearly could use Voice Search. But who is using it?

Who is Using Voice Search?

I don’t have the stats for the UK, but in the US, figures on TechCrunch from eMarketer.com show that the younger demographic, between 25 and 34 are using voice enabled digital assistants the most. They make up 26.3% of the users. In February last year, Amazon said that the sale of its Echo were up 9 times compared to the season before. However, these figures do not go into detail if these people are visually impaired or if they have hand mobility issues.

Hand curated by Lifekludger – read full article at Source: Can Google Assistant and Voice Search Really Help Those Who Need it the Most ? – State of Digital

How a Smart Home Empowers People with Disabilities

While advances in personal technology continue at a rapid pace, at times their designers seem to forget about the population that could perhaps benefit from it the most. Stabelfeldt says just the ability to charge a phone with a wheelchair didn’t even exist until a few years ago.

But features like Apple’s “Home” app allow Stabelfeldt to control a variety of smart accessories in his house — from door locks and window shades, to lights and his garage door. The best part for Stabelfeldt? He can command Apple’s intelligent digital assistant Siri to work it all.

A Game Changer
“We put a lot of time and effort into making sure our products are as accessible as possible for all users,” said Apple’s Sarah Herrlinger. She has worked at Apple for nearly 14 years and is their Senior Manager of accessibility policy and initiatives.

“For some people, doing something like turning on your lights or opening a blind or changing your thermostat might be seen as a convenience, but for others, that represents empowerment, and independence, and dignity,” she told NBC News.

“HomeKit and Switch Control and Siri have given me a lot of value and a lot of opportunities to demonstrate that I’m a quality man and I’m a man of integrity,” Todd Stabelfeldt. “To get up every day and go to work: Everybody’s valuable, everybody has worth, everybody should have the opportunity to demonstrate it.”