Microsoft along with the Chinese Science Academy and Peiching Union University develops a prototype that can aid the visually impaired. The prototype can convert the sign language into spoken language and vice-versa, making it easy for the differently-abled. A research project, Seeing AI, combines image recognition and natural language processing to describe a person’s surroundings, read text, answer questions and even identify emotions on people’s faces. And there is this navigational headset, 3D-soundscape, which can assist the visually impaired people to identify some specific sounds and act accordingly. This can enable them to walk freely without needing any stick or partner. The technology was developed in partnership with a charitable trust called God’s Guides.
Microsoft was already researching on similar topics to bring a useful output. The tech giant is working on assistive technology products such as screen readers, magnifiers and specialty accessibility hardware which are essential to accelerate disability inclusion in any country. Inclusively designed technologies such as Learning Tools Immersive Reader, OneNote and Office Lens are some of the technologies from the tech leader which promise ease-of-use across all platforms.
With the artificial technology and the features that it enables, Microsoft is building up a new platform for the disabled people. The company already has a special disability Employee Resource Group (ERG), which was formed in 2009 that supports in building of such useful platforms. And this prototype is definitely going to be a success soon!