Selecting the best voice assistant for visually impaired individuals depends on personal preferences, specific needs, and the devices they use. In my experience and research, the three best-known voice assistants among the visually impaired are Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Voice assistants are changing how we use technology, making it better for people with visual impairments. This guide will help you understand how they can improve your life and choose the right one for you.
So, let us dive into the topic and learn about voice assistants in more detail.
What is a Voice Assistant for the Blind?
Virtual voice assistants, sometimes referred to as virtual assistants or simply voice assistants, are designed to perform tasks and answer questions through natural language voice commands. They are a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that interacts with users verbally.
Originally built for general purposes, they have proven to be beneficial for the blind or visually impaired, allowing these individuals to interact with their devices in a more natural and accessible way.
Best Voice Assistants for visually impaired or blind
Let’s take a look at the 4 best AI voice assistants for visually impaired or blind.
Alexa is available on Amazon devices, including Amazon Echo devices, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, and the Amazon Alexa App for Android and iOS. Alexa can assist visually impaired users in tasks such as reading books, news, weather updates, and controlling smart home devices.
It has a growing ecosystem of third-party skills that are continually being developed to expand Alexa’s capabilities.
Here is a complete list of 35 ways Amazon Alexa can help blind and visually impaired people.
Google Assistant is available on Android phones, Android and iOS apps, Google Nest or Home speakers, and displays, helping blind or visually impaired individuals access media and read books aloud, control smart home devices using only their voices. Google Assistant is integrated with Google services, which allows Google Assistant to manage email, calendars, and navigation with voice commands. Google Assistant has the added benefit of being able to answer questions using Google’s search engine, making it a useful tool for accessing information about a wide range of topics.
Siri is a virtual assistant that comes built-in on all Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, and Macs. Siri can be used to perform a range of tasks with your voice, such as sending text messages, making phone calls, and setting reminders. Siri can also be used to control smart home devices and access information, such as weather updates and news headlines. Siri is tightly integrated with iOS, which can be advantageous for users already in the Apple ecosystem.
Cortana is a virtual assistant that is built into Microsoft’s Windows operating system and can be accessed through the Windows Search bar. Like other voice assistants, Cortana can be used to perform a range of tasks, such as setting reminders, sending emails, and accessing information. Additionally, Cortana can be used to control smart home devices, such as Philips Hue lights.
How to choose the best voice assistant for you?
When choosing the best voice assistant for the blind, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:
•Portability: Do you need a device that can be used on-the-go or one that is stationary?
•Functionality: What tasks do you need the voice assistant to perform? Do you need it to control smart home devices, access information, or perform other functions?
•Accessibility: Are the voice commands easy to use and remember? Can the speaker be heard clearly in different environments?
•Compatibility: Will the voice assistant work with the devices and apps you already use?
•Price: How much are you willing to spend on a voice assistant?
By considering these factors and doing some research on the different voice assistants available, you can make an informed decision about which one is the best fit for your needs as a blind or visually impaired individual.
If you’re someone who is blind or visually impaired, using a voice assistant can make a big difference in your daily life. With the ability to control smart devices, access information, and perform tasks all through voice commands, you can become more independent and efficient. So why not give it a try? Do some research on the different voice assistants available and choose one that suits your needs. You might be surprised at how much easier and more enjoyable your daily routine can become with the help of a friendly voice assistant.