Google optimises Assistant for more people with disabilities
Tobii Dynavox is a popular accessibility firm that is known for its assistive technology for communication.
Google has announced a partnership with Tobii Dynavox, a US-based accessibility firm. Under the partnership, Google will integrate its Assistant into the company's apps and hardware. The objective of the partnership is to allow people with disabilities such as autism, ALS, and cerebral palsy to use Google Assistant features.
With the Assistant integration, users with disabilities can now use Tobii's hardware and applications to control smart home devices such as TVs and lights that are compatible with Google Home app. Users can also use the service to get Google Assistant to answer questions such as “What is the weather today?” and “What's on the calendar for today?”, reports CNET.
Google is also Tobii Dynavox's library of Picture Communication Symbols in Action Blocks, which aims to help users with cognitive disability to use Android-based devices through personalised buttons. According to Tobii, the inclusion of PCS will make it easier for millions of users to communicate.
"Our mission is to empower people with disabilities to do what they once did or never thought possible. It includes the possibility to communicate, control your surrounding environment and receive the same access to education and information as anyone else. Therefore, we are extremely pleased to enter this partnership with Google and jointly develop technologies that are more accessible to everyone," said Fredrik Ruben, CEO of Tobii Dynavox, in a release.
The latest partnership comes months after Google launched new accessibility features for Android users. The new set of features also includes Assistant-based Action Blocks. Google also updated Sound Amplifier, Google Maps, and Live Transcribe features for users with disabilities.