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Pardon? An Overview of the Current State and Requirements of Voice User Interfaces for Blind and Visually Impaired Users

by   Christina Oumard, et al.

People with special needs like blind and visually impaired (BVI) people can particularly benefit from using voice assistants providing spoken information input and output in everyday life. However, it is crucial to understand their needs and to include these in the development of accessible and useful assistance systems. By conducting an online survey with 145 BVI people, this paper revealed that common voice assistants like Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa are used by a majority of BVI people and are also considered helpful. In particular, features in the context of audio entertainment, internet access and everyday life practical things like weather queries, time-related information (e.g. setting an alarm clock), checking calendar entries and taking notes are particularly often used and appreciated. The participants also indicated that the integration of smart home devices, the optimization of existing functionalities and voice input are important, but also potentially negative aspects such as data privacy and data security are relevant. Therefore, it seems particularly interesting to implement an online data processing as far as possible. Our results contribute to this development by providing an overview of empirically collected requirements for functions and implementation-related aspects.


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