In this case we analyze the potential that these new features may have for people with reduced or no vision and in some cases also for people with reduced mobility.
The Google translator has different methods of entering the language to be translated:
For this functionality, the back camera of the Smartphone is used from which the image is taken, being able to choose two different translation modes:
- You can scan text with the camera in real time, so that the translated text is superimposed on the original text of the image. This option is not very useful in the case of people with vision difficulties, but it can be really useful for people with manipulation difficulties who prefer to superimpose the mobile instead of writing text.
- Another option that allows is to take a photograph of the text so that it is analyzed in a more accurate way and we are given a translation in text format. This option obtains much more precise translations than the previously mentioned real-time option.
Hand writing allows the writing of characters on screen in the form of manual writing, so that Google can interpret what type of letter is being introduced and offer a translation to the desired language. This option is useful for languages with complex characters such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian, in which we do not have references and the easiest way is to draw them on the screen for interpretation.
This feature does not consider that at the moment it is very useful for people with vision difficulties.
Voice recognition input is a feature that relies on voice recognition from Google systems. This is the main value that the application provides to users with reduced or no vision, as well as to those users with difficulties to enter text via keyboard. Voice recognition works really well and allows you to enter all the text you want to translate and quickly get the translated text.
This functionality allows making use of voice recognition to maintain a conversation between two people with different languages. Voice recognition is able to differentiate the two speakers by dividing their sentences on both sides of the screen and offering an instantaneous translation to that conversation.
This functionality is very useful for communicating information to third parties. Let's take for example in the case of a deaf or deafblind person who wants to show information to other people outside of their native language environment.
In addition to its ability to be used with screen readers in both Android and iOS, the Google translator incorporates a voice synthesizer that communicates the text in the language to be translated and in the language to which we have translated.
"Touch to translate"
The Google translator also allows you to activate a pop-up icon that overlaps different applications in your configuration menu and offers the possibility to click to quickly translate messages within those applications.
Let's put ourselves in the case of a person who uses WhatsApp and wants to visualize the translation of the quick form of the different messages in a conversation.
This function facilitates copying and pasting quickly without having to change the on-screen application since the translator will overlap the application in use.
Without connection is allowed as long as you have downloaded the necessary language packs:
- Translation via text entered by keyboard
- Translation of images both in real time and by photo.
Without connection is not allowed:
- Text entry by voice recognition
- Translation of simultaneous conversation
- Introduction of manual writing on screen
To download the language packs that you will need in your destination you must access the Offline Translation section of the configuration menu.
It is clear that accessibility is a field that Android and Google are trying to incorporate into most of their products, which they have been doing progressively and which increasingly has an impact on the lives of users with different needs.
In this case the google translator incorporates a series of functionalities that make it a perfect tool for multi-language communication.
- It is the most used app for translation that incorporates great accessibility options, it is not a dedicated app specific for blind people and we believe that this is the way.
- Numerous text entry options (camera, manual writing, voice, keyboard)
- It works on different operating systems and devices of all manufacturers whether PC, Tablet or Smartphone.
- It is difficult to demand more to such a powerful tool but accessibility is a very broad field so it can be proposed that future versions take into account other needs such as the use of pictograms or sign language and their conversion from or to the different Languages.