[Chicago] mobile apps

Kumar McMillan kumar.mcmillan at gmail.com
Fri Oct 3 17:07:19 CEST 2008

What would be neat is a mobile app accessible purely by sound.  That
is, a program that told you where you are and gave you voice prompts
for what to do next.  This is pretty much how Asterisk works -
http://www.asterisk.org/ - and even though it targets the telephone
(PBX) the same principles of request and voice-response apply.  In
fact, you can think of it just like a web application, you request a
resource and get a response.  The response probably contains a "main
menu" that helps you navigate the app.  Some ruby hackers figured this
out and wrote an adapter for Rails that allows you to create Asterisk
voice-response applications: http://www.snapvine.com/code/simoncode ,
http://www.snapvine.com/code/ragi/ .

The coolest thing to me about a voice response app is the psychology
of "audio icons." Just like using visual icons help a user identify
areas of a menu (i.e. picture of a house for Home), audio icons do the
same.  You might have a sound of chimes when you navigate to Home or a
sad trombone when an error happens, you get the idea.  It just helps
the user know where she is in the application.


On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 9:46 AM, sheila miguez <shekay at pobox.com> wrote:
> I just discovered http://talking-points.org/ a project to provide
> navigable way-points for blind (or sighted) pedestrians. they've
> prototyped in Java using a bluetooth stack, I think on a tablet pc.
> They'd like to have the project live beyond the life of a semester
> project, so need outside life.
> Chris did a mobile demo.
> Any of you interested in joining the project? They would like to
> expand to more mobile devices. I suspect any language that can glue
> together and be multiplatform would work (could run in the jvm?
> haven't read everyone on their wiki or their source yet (it's on
> google code). I only just got on their mailing list yesterday.
> I've been interested in doing work on accessible technology,
> particularly mobile devices to help people navigate (I hadn't thought
> exactly of blind, I was thinking more of people with cognitive
> dysfunctions to allow them to be more independent) and was really
> excited to discover a project like this that is open. neat.
> --
> sheila
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