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New paradigm needed for non-visual interaction with visual interfaces

April 28, 2015

Ok need to get this off my chest. I’ve thought this for over 15 years but not done anything about it. Maybe someone else can…

Why is it screen readers continue to be designed so they fail to exploit the full capacity of the human touch and hearing capacity available?

For sighted people, it’s the same as if the days of the low-res blocky green screen continue just because no one has thought to develop the display beyond this idea. For us people who interact with our computers through sound and touch, the experience remains mostly, with some slight exceptions, a flatly monophonic experience, no sense of left and right, no up or down, no deep or shallow, no sonic effects or acoustically different spaces within our headphones or speakers, it’s like being on the phone.

The ridiculous thing is, the potential for high definition acoustics and binaural (spatial sound localisation) and bi-manual interaction on even the cheapest smartphone is right here and right now. For some reason, the dev community just aren’t creatively utilising it.

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