The New York Times is running a story about Google engineer T. V. Raman, who lost his vision at age 14 but didn't let that stand in the way of his interest in technology. In addition to modifying a version of Google's search engine to give preference to pages that were more compliant with accessibility guidelines, Raman is now working on making cell phones easier to use without needing to look at them. "Since he cannot precisely hit a button on a touch screen, Mr. Raman created a dialer that works based on relative positions. It interprets any place where he first touches the screen as a 5, the center of a regular telephone dial pad. To dial any other number, he simply slides his finger in its direction — up and to the left for 1, down and to the right for 9, and so on. If he makes a mistake, he can erase a digit simply by shaking the phone, which can detect motion." Raman and a co-worker, Charles Chen, are also attempting to extend various phones' ability to read back scanned text to include signs that are anywhere in the phone's field of view.
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