Qualcomm today announced that it is currently working on a smartphone for the blind and visually impaired. Part of a partnership with Project Ray, the phone is an always-on, easy-to-use, multi-function smartphone and is based on Google's Android OS.
Qualcomm and Project Ray say the phone should help cut down on the vast number of devices many blind and visually impaired people carry around on a day to day basis. If you thought carrying your MP3 player, camera, and cell phone was a pain in the neck, just be grateful you don't have to carry a specially designed audio book reader, color reader, navigation tool, Braille label, special bar-code scanner, and a voice-enabled MP3 player as well as a regular phone.
"Based on an off-the-shelf Android OS smartphone powered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.'s Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the Project Ray device integrates the capabilities of smartphone technology and the capabilities of these multiple specialty devices into a single, cost-effective handset with 24/7 mobile broadband connectivity and a UI designed for eye-free interaction," Qualcomm and Project Ray said in a joint release. "A trial project is currently underway that is testing the new system with 100 participants throughout Israel."
The phone, dubbed the Ray mobile device, is synchronized with Israel's Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped audio books content and the UI supports a wide range of services including phone calls, text messaging with vocal read-out, navigation, object recognition, social network services, remote assistance, audio-book reading, and more.
The companies didn't offer much in the way of specs save for the fact that it runs on a Snapdragon CPU.