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New Tool Makes Web Browsing Easier for the Visually Impaired


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Using a voice assistant to direct a Web search.

A new tool developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada, the University of Washington, and Microsoft uses voice assistants and screen readers to make free-form Web searches easier, particularly for the visually impaired.

Credit: sonical.com

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada, the University of Washington, and Microsoft have developed a tool that merges the best elements of voice assistants and screen readers to make free-form Web searches easier.

The VERSE (Voice Exploration, Retrieval, and Search) tool allows people with visual impairments to get Web content quickly and easily.

VERSE adds screen reader-like capabilities to virtual assistants, and allows other devices to serve as input accelerators to smart speakers.

The researchers surveyed 53 visually impaired Web searchers, and found that more than half used voice assistants multiple times a day.

Said Waterloo researcher Alexandra Vtyurina, "If people need more information, they can use VERSE to access other search verticals, for example, news, facts, and related searches, and can visit any article that appears as a search result."

From University of Waterloo News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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