IBM updates Web software for visually impaired

With version 3.0 of the Home Page Reader software, IBM added Javascript support to give visually-impaired users a smoother ride when cruising the Web. While past versions of the software often made the purchasing or selling of goods online very difficult, IBM said. The Javascript functions should ease the user's experience and lead to more consistent levels of transaction completion.

"The Javascript support means that e-commerce is now quite a realistic task," said Guido Corona, user interface designer for IBM's accessibility centre, in an interview.

Corona said the Home Page Reader can now speak all of the information on a Web page, including text, tables, graphics descriptions, text in column formats, data input fields, forms and image maps. Corona pointed to advanced option settings in the latest version of the software that lets a user set preferences for how a link might be distinguished from a page-heading or how a user might choose to receive the information presented in a table. Corona said the new options make surfing more pleasurable and efficient than in than past and added that improving Web navigation stood as one Big Blue's major goals with this release.

"We have done a lot of work in tuning the navigation," said Corona. "We blind individuals need to navigate in a variety of ways."

Version 3.0 now supports Brazilian Portuguese, Finish, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese, in addition to the previous support of US English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese. With the latest software, a user might use German as the default language when surfing the Web and then receive notice when a Spanish language page is encountered. The software will automatically detect the presence of a Spanish page and begin speaking the information in that tongue. The key settings, however, will remain in German.

"At this time the product is targeting the Windows platform," Corona said.

Users are encouraged to use Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser in conjunction with IBM's ViaVoice Outloud text -to-speech technology. Version 3.0 can run on Windows 98, Millennium, and Windows 2000. Corona said there are no current plans to develop the software for Macs but added that if the market shows a need for Mac support IBM will consider it.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashlee Vance

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?