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Android phone launched for blind and visually impaired

The SmartVision 3 offers a large tactile keypad, voice commands and TalkBack for navigation and control.

Mobile assistive technology provider RAZ Mobility has launched a Google certified smartphone designed specifically for individuals who are blind or visually impaired:  the SmartVision 3.

The SmartVision 3 is a fully functional Android smartphone with an important innovation: it allows people with vision loss to control all aspects of the phone with a tactile keypad, rather than touch-screen gestures, which are difficult for many. As a result of this innovation, the user experience for people who rely on a built-in screen reader to navigate their smartphone is significantly improved, and more people will be able to benefit from smartphone technology.

In a 2021 study published by Jama Ophthalmology, “Prevalence of Visual Acuity or Blindness in the U.S.,” researchers found that more than 7 million Americans are living with uncorrectable vision loss, including more than 1 million who are blind. The SmartVision 3 is a unique smartphone engineered to serve this population.

All features of the SmartVision 3 are 100 percent accessible to individuals with no sight at all.

  • The smartphone screen reader is controlled through tactile buttons or touchscreen gestures.
  • Use the keypad to place, answer or reject phone calls, write text messages, and more.
  • The dedicated button on the right edge of the phone provides quick access to the Google Assistant for voice commands and allows you to dictate text in the input area.
  • The SmartVision 3 has a number of special pre-installed apps for people with vision loss, including a banknote recogniser, colour detector, light detector, and magnifier.
  • Use NFC tags to recognise objects or perform certain actions, like dial a number. The phone includes 5 NFC tags.
  • Download any app from Google Play, such as Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Amazon, DoorDash, The New York Times, and more.
  • Charge the battery of the SmartVision 3 with a custom-built wireless charger designed for people who are blind.

Nermin Selimic, COO of RAZ Mobility, said that “allowing people who are blind or visually impaired to control their smartphone with a tactile keypad, and a dedicated button to easily access voice controls and the Google Assistant, is a giant step forward for inclusive design and access for people with vision loss.”

RAZ Mobility is the exclusive distributor of SmartVision 3 for the United States and offers the phone to consumers, state government agencies, blind rehabilitation centres, medical centres of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, non-profit organisations, and for-profit companies.

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