New app helps blind photographers snap perfect pictures

Who said photography was only for those with normal vision? Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dustin Adams, Lourdes Morales and Sri Kurniawan, have developed a camera app that can be used by the blind and partially sighted people to fulfill their photography ambitions, reports NewScientist


As part of their research, Adams and his colleagues quizzed 54 people about what they found toughest about clicking pictures. Now, among those quizzed were some partially sighted, while there were some who were completely blind and others with a degree of light perception. What they answered summed up as the specifications for the app. 


One of the respondents said that one obstacle was how to frame a shot. "If I am in a group, I usually have someone advise me on camera placement, even if I take the picture myself."


Photography is for all (Image credit: Getty Images)



One of the findings that emerged at the end of the survey showed that while there are smartphones today that offer face detection capabilities and a feature that says the function of the screen buttons aloud when a user taps on them, there is a need for more features to make such apps visually impaired-friendly. 


The researchers have built their own app that snaps a picture after the user makes an upward swipe gesture. The app brings together face detection and voice accessiblity features in an attempt to get the phone say aloud the number of faces detected. This way, the partially sighted or completely blind user will know if he has everyone in the frame. With audio cues, the user will know that he has the main subject in focus.


The way it works is once the app's camera mode is enabled, the phone begins recording a 30-second audio file. This file can be restarted at any point by double tapping the screen.  

Published Date: May 11, 2013 05:02 pm | Updated Date: May 11, 2013 05:02 pm