iFLYTEK “Lucky to Have Your Voice” Program Empowers Accessible Technology
The iFLYTEK Open Platform’s “Lucky to Have Your Voice” corporate responsibility grant program has provided support to several outstanding developers and visionaries who are incorporating artificial intelligence technology into their products for the blind and visually-impaired. Technology must be designed with accessibility in mind, and for these innovators, accessibility was the first priority.
Prudence Interactive develops games for people with vision loss
At the 2021 iFLYTEK Developers’ Festival, iFLYTEK and Prudence Interactive jointly developed an accessible e-sports competition using AI-enabled auditory queues to guide players through the game. After several rounds of fierce competition, Liu Xiaozhu and his team won the competition.
▲ Players at the e-sports game at the 2021 iFLYTEK Developers’ Festival
Liu thought that when he lost his eyesight in 2016, he would not be able to play games as he had always enjoyed doing. Glory Battlefield, developed by Prudence Interactive, has changed Liu’s expectations because it was designed specifically with vision-impaired players in mind. Specially designed battlefield sounds and other auditory signals reduce the limitations caused by Liu’s blindness, enabling Liu to compete to his full ability. Liu has begun joining more e-sports games and interacting with more people to play Glory Battlefield.
Many AI-based games for visually impaired players, like Glory Battlefield, were developed by Prudence Interactive and incorporate speech recognition and speech synthesis technologies provided by the iFLYTEK Open Platform. The AI technologies allow for real-time response to players’ actions, enabling them to enjoy the games and interact with other players. The games have been downloaded nearly one million times, serving a total of 120,000 people with vision loss and the built-in chat system has up to 218,000 users per day. Qiangwei, a marketing director with Prudence Interactive, said, “The visually-impaired have the same pursuits as just about anyone. Generally, after having fulfilled their basic needs, people just want to interact with others, express their feelings, present themselves, and play some games. The same goes for blind people.”
Jade Bird Vision enhances eyesight for people with low vision.
▲ Guo Jianlin skis (source: bjnews)
Guo Jianlin, who experienced partial vision loss in early childhood, has been a competitive alpine skier for five years and has won multiple medals at national games in China. While Guo’s low vision has made training difficult, the smart glasses developed by Jade Bird Vision can show him instructions from his coach in real-time to improve his training.
Among the 17 million vision-impaired people in China, around two-thirds have partial or minimal vision. Jade Bird Vision is committed to providing new-generation visual aids and electronic products that are supported by core AI technologies to make daily life simpler for this population.
The AI technologies provided by the iFLYTEK Open Platform have played a major role in Jade Bird Vision’s visual aid products. For example, with the help of iFLYTEK’s text recognition and reading technology, Jade Bird Vision developed a device that allows children with low vision to read books, while other products have used image recognition and speech technologies to help the blind recognize and find objects independently. In the development of vision aid wearables, AI technologies conduct real-time video perspective and correct image distortion that can be customized to suit the user’s eye conditions.
Jade Bird Vision products have assisted tens of thousands of low-vision users in nearly 50 cities across the country through a campaign called “National Tour”.
Protection & Ease promotes employment of the blind.
Wang Xue, a part-time audiobook producer with visual impairments, has spent many hours studying synthesized speech from screen readers to produce her own audiobooks. The screen readers that Wang had previously used produced inorganic and unengaging language. Then, Wang Xue got the screen reader developed by Protection & Ease.
▲ Wang Xue produces an audiobook
Protection & Ease founder Cao Jun, who is blind himself, has a personal understanding of his target audience. By adopting iFLYTEK’s text-to-speech technology, the company developed a screen reader to meet the needs of visually-impaired audiobook producers. Additionally, the company has adopted iFLYTEK’s offline speech synthesis technology and has been a recipient of the “Lucky to Have Your Voice” grant program.
The accessible applications developed by Prudence Interactive, Jade Bird Vision, and Prudence & Ease are only a few success stories of the iFLYTEK Open Platform’s “Lucky to Have Your Voice” grant program. iFLYTEK hopes that more developers will use the company’s AI technologies to design and launch systems to assist those with disabilities and the general public.