We have tested the system of accessible labels Navilens in our facilities and we tell you how has been the experience in the following lines.
The first step to make use of the tags is the download of the application in its version of Android or IOS that is easily found in both application stores and is free download.
It is important to remember that for a better user experience it is recommended to activate the screen reader, although the application makes use of voice reading automatically, the activation of the screen reader facilitates interaction with the application.
Once all these steps have been carried out and without obstructing the rear camera of the phone, we proceed to read a series of labels that we have placed in our facilities that contain pre-loaded information specifically for each location.
The labels are identified by traversing the environment with the camera. The reading of the labels depends on the camera of the mobile phone used, with a terminal IPhone 6 or Samsung of medium range the reading distance is effective enough to identify the labels in the environment, being of an average of 4 meters, and having reached readings at distances of up to 10 meters. However, this correct reading also depends on a large extent on the print size of these labels.
As the camera identifies new labels in the environment, the application reports its position to better orient the camera and know its exact location (Right, left, center, very close ...). Once a tag is identified, the application reads the information associated with that tag when we shake the phone. The information of each label can be modified by the company or entity in charge of the space through a web portal in real time with a cost associated with the service, although it is important to note that the reading application is free download and has no associated cost for the end user.
The application is easy to use and in a short time we can familiarize ourselves with the main functionalities. It is possible to read the information of the labels in different languages depending on the language in which we have configured our phone.
In terms of accessibility there is little to say, the application is properly labeled and allows its full use with screen readers in both Android and IOS. In addition, the graphic menus present a high contrast for those users with partial vision who do not use the screen reader.
The quality of the information associated with each label depends on the time it takes the manager of the facilities to update the content of each label so that they reflect the reality of the space and provide clear and concise information. In any case, as users of the application, we are not responsible for the management of this information and we can only read it.
In general, the reading of labels has been satisfactory in the tests, taking into account, as we mentioned above, that the better quality of the camera and the larger the size of the labels, the better results are achieved. The addressing instructions have allowed us to focus the phone until detecting the centered location of each label, walking towards them until we receive the indication that we are close to it.
Battery consumption is high if the application is used continuously because it uses, among other functions, processing, internet connection and camera. The consumption is increased if the flash functionality is used, which allows to illuminate with the light of the flash the areas to be identified by the camera if the environment does not have good lighting conditions.
There is one thing that it would be advisable to indicate more clearly, it is the indication of when the camera is on and when it is not, for this it is important to make sure that the application is not running in the foreground and has been closed. Although in this aspect it is good to comment that the images of the camera are not shared externally, but that the treatment of the image is done internally in the terminal.
It is important to note that the application is capable of operating without an internet connection when having memory, as long as we use it to recognize labels that we have previously identified with connection.
In summary, the tag system and its associated application facilitate the obtaining of information in different languages to facilitate the guidance and identification of the environment for people with vision difficulties. The application is easy to use and as long as this system extends widely
- The innovative of a system that allows reading codes at a greater distance than other systems and guiding the phone to be guided by them
- The great usability and accessibility of the application
- The free cost for the end user
- The fact of depending on the manager of the facilities and having a cost for it, means that the system is not currently implemented in many spaces
- The fact of not having in the application a list of the facilities identified with these labels in which to be able to use the app
- Battery consumption is high if continuous use is made