The blind and visually impaired often have to rely on others for help with basic life tasks such as matching clothing, distinguishing bills or reading a menu at a restaurant. There’s some technology that can help, but it often involves purchasing expensive devices or carrying around specific equipment for each purpose.
That’s all about to change. After several years of trials and testing at one of the most well-known institutes for the blind and ongoing work and coordination with respected industry organizations, VelaSense by Visus, a first-of-its-kind technology with potentially life-changing benefits for the visually-impaired, is now available exclusively to Verizon Wireless customers with Android smartphones.
Developed in collaboration with the Verizon Innovation Program, which works with organizations to turn their ideas into reality, VelaSense is designed for customers with any degree of visual impairment, from low vision to complete blindness. The technology is intended to make it easier for users to navigate mobile devices, and also to navigate the physical world around them.
Through a few taps on a smartphone, a visually-impaired person will be able to identify colors to pick out clothes, determine the denomination of the money in their hand, and read the label of a product at a grocery store.
“Verizon is at the forefront of providing access, products and services to the disabled and our collaboration with Visus is one way wireless devices and technology can work together to provide an impactful solution for visually impaired customers,” said Barbara Kaplan, who manages accessibility services for Verizon Wireless.
- VelaSense functions on select Android™ operating systems that are version 4.3 or higher
- It uses GPS for point-to-point navigation and 4G LTE and Wi-Fi for cloud computing, downloading software upgrades, and social networking applications
- Voice recognition is used for issuing verbal commands
- Verizon Wireless customers who download VelaSense will have access to a 30-day free trial. Following the trial, customers will be prompted to subscribe to the VelaSense application to retain service and by doing so, a monthly subscription fee of $14.99 will be added to the customer’s bill or be charged to a credit card.
For more information about Verizon Wireless accessibility products and services, click here.