A group of researchers at the Santa Cruz University of California have developed a special smartphone app that will allow visually impaired photographers to take the perfect shot. The yet unnamed app uses technology based on smartphone facial detection sensors.
The project led by PhD student Dustin Adams began with a quiz of over 50 people with various degrees of visual impairment, who were asked to detail the main problems they were facing when trying to take a photograph. The answers were then used as indication of what elements were absolutely necessary in developing a device or application that would allow visually impaired users to take a snapshot.
The research team discovered that one of the most challenging issues has to do with fixing control placements, not only with framing the shot. The first step in developing the app was, of course, to make it voice controlled, and thus allow visually impaired users to take a photo with their smartphone without requiring an actual shutter button.
Instead of the traditional shutter button, the app can be activated by making a swipe gesture upwards. Due to the face detection technology it is based on, the smartphone application will be able to talk to the users and tell them how many faces/people are in the frame and in focus before taking the shot.
After activation, the camera has a 30-second countdown before taking the picture and in that time continues to count the number of faces in the frame and to explain whether they are in focus, so as to help the photographer to get everybody in the picture.
During those 30 seconds, the camera also makes an audio recording which can be saved by the user together with the associated photo, in order to help the visually impaired photographer to organize the files and easily identify each shot by its audio signature.
The application, which is not yet available to the general public, will be mainly useful to take pictures of human subjects, because of the face detection technology. The concept will be officially unveiled by the research team later this month.
[Image via Epoch Times]