Project Eyes-Free aims to enable fluent eyes-free use of mobile devices running Android. Target uses range from eyes-busy environments like driving, to use by people who are unwilling or unable to look at the visual display. You can get a high-level overview of more potential use cases for Eyes-Free from this recent New York Times article. As described in the article, we are releasing components from project Eyes-Free as they become ready for end-user deployment.
Though the underlying source code has been available for some time from our repository on Google Code, we've now posted the first public release of the eyes-free shell on the Android Marketplace. Users of the eyes-free shell can conveniently launch talking applications. Along with this release, we've also made available a collection of applications to turn mobile devices running Android into eyes-free communication devices.
Each of these applications have been written to be useful both to end users and as a means of helping the developer community come up to speed quickly as they develop eyes-free applications for Android:
A key innovation is the use of the touch screen to enable one-handed, eyes-free dialing of phone numbers using the touch screen. The dialer comes with a talking phone-book that enables users to quickly select a desired contact using the touch screen.
This mini-application announces your present location based on information acquired via GPS and the cell network. It speaks your current heading using the built-in magnetic compass, looks up the current location on Google Maps, and announces the location in terms of a nearby address and street intersection.
This mini-application announces useful information such as battery state, signal strength, and availability of WiFi networks.
This mini-application provides single-touch access to current date and time.
We will be uploading video tutorials demonstrating the use of these applications to YouTube over the next few weeks. Please see the Eyes-Free project home page for these links as they become available. As always, we welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing from you in our discussion group.