Apple today provided a preview of software features that are designed to assist those with cognitive, vision, hearing, and mobility impairments, as well as individuals who lack or risk losing the capacity to communicate verbally. The updates take advantage of advances in hardware and software, incorporate on-device machine learning for preserving user privacy, and reflect Apple's ongoing dedication to making products accessible for all.
Apple claims users of their devices can craft a Personal Voice by reading out text cues for 15 minutes on iPhones or iPads. This, coupled with the Live Speech feature, will allow people to write what they need to say and have their Personal Voice convey it to the intended recipient. To ensure information security, Apple says they utilise machine learning on-device.
Apple is actively engaged in promoting the independence and quality of life of users with disabilities. In the upcoming months, they will be launching Assistive Access to make using iPhone and iPad simpler for those with cognitive disabilities, Live Speech to enable nonspeakers to use their voices during conversations, and Personal Voice for those in danger of losing their speaking abilities. Finally, low vision users will be able to take advantage of Detection Mode in Magnifier's Point and Speak feature which reads out text that one points at, enabling them to interact with everyday objects.
“At Apple, we’ve always believed that the best technology is technology built for everyone,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Today, we’re excited to share incredible new features that build on our long history of making technology accessible, so that everyone has the opportunity to create, communicate, and do what they love.”
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