Internet without restrictions: Siberian solution for visually impaired
31 Mar '14
A cloud app is being developed at Tomsk State University in Siberia to help the visually impaired visit web pages and get information they need, the TSU press service announced.
The application called “RIW - Internet without restrictions” is a brainchild of Evgeny Sidnev, Artyom Pomiluiko and Stanislav Rychagov, second-year students at TSU’s department of physics and engineering.
Using the app, users with eyesight problems may now expect to be able to obtain data which conventional screen readers typically fail to recognize.
According to Mr. Sidnev, RIW is designed to enable such people to bypass the deficiencies that screen readers have when surfing the Internet for necessary data. “Our app will solve these problems and offer a user what he or she needs in a correct form,” the developer said.
The app is expected to ‘pull’ data from hard-to-reach elements, which makes it possible for screen access software to actually read the data for the user out loud, keeping the structure of a specific web page intact.
One doesn’t have to download the application, the developers said. All a user needs is just run it in any of the most popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Opera, Chrome, and others.
Longer-term plans include the development of client app options for desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Sapunity, the company that the three developers have set up, is now a resident of the Druzhba inter-university business incubator in the region. The students are hoping to raise investment to push their effort and, even prior to that, launch free beta testing for the application online.