On 18 December The New York Times carried an article revealing “secret” research, by Google and Apple on the development of wearable computers which will allow the user to communicate directly with a smart phone without the need to constantly be looking into a screen. According to the piece Apple are working on the development of a glass ipod which will wrap around the wrist while Google are attempting to increase their share of advertising revenue by developing devices which will communicate with their smart phone.
In future wearable glasses allowing their wearers to experience virtual reality will be created and children will meet with their friends, in the park and play games using these glasses.
All of the above is fascinating but, as a blind person who uses screen reading software to access both my mobile telephone and my computers I wonder what consideration has been given to the accessibility of such wearable computers? Given that my mobile is accessible using “Talks” software which allows me to send and receive texts, access the web etc there is, in principle no reason why such devices of the future should not be accessible to visually impaired individuals. I just hope, as I say that accessibility is being considered from the outset.
For the article please visit http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/wearing-your-computer-on-your-sleeve/