speaking on phone with blind man 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
A smartphone for the visually impaired designed by Israeli company Project RAY
will be marketed and sold in the United States through Odin Mobile.
company, which received support from chipmaker Qualcomm, developed a unique
technology that allows users to use intuitive touch and voice navigation to
access a slew of features, including phone, email, calendar and GPS. It is also
able to identify bank notes, pictures and colors with the camera.
RAY smartphone, combined with Odin Mobile’s full cellular services for the blind
and visually impaired, will finally bring to this important community the same
services available to the mainstream full-sighted community,” Project RAY
founder and CEO Boaz Zilberman said.
By centering the screens wherever a
person touches, the technology helps the visually impaired easily navigate the
options on the phone.
“This project is one of the most prominent
instances of Qualcomm finding and developing technologies in Israel,” Ayal
Bar-David, Qualcomm’s vice president of global market development in Israel,
told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Project Ray is one of a slew of
small Israeli companies that Qualcomm is helping to push along, providing
investments and commercial support to help them bring their products tomorrow,
“This is the outcome of a small Israeli company and a large
international company working together to help advance a product in markets that
wouldn’t have been as readily accessible,” Bar-David said.
“We are proud
to work with Project RAY and support their objective of bringing a mobile device
to market that supports blind and visually impaired people so they can access
resources and information independently,” said Kristin Atkins, senior director
of government affairs for Qualcomm.
“Our team at Qualcomm Israel worked
closely with Project RAY on the operational and product efforts of the first RAY
device enabling independence and a richer social life for users by providing an
all-in one, independent-living companion capable of eye-free input,
text-to-speech, access to content, navigation, label recognition, augmented
reality and integration with social networks,” she said.