Xiaomi enhances accessibility technology through a series of innovations

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2021-05-21 09:18:40

On the occasion of May 20 as Global Accessibility Awareness day, Xiaomi welcomed a group of special guests at Xiaomi Science and Technology Park – Mi Fan defect group and Voice recognition support for Mi AI Speakers. They were invited to Xiaomi headquarters to visit Mi Home and R&D lab, to attend Co-creation and Technology Sharing activity to support “Touching Beauty” .

Mi Fan defect group with voice recognition support device for Mi AI Speakers tour Mi Home

During the meeting, members from MIUI, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and other departments joined the defective Mi Fan team to understand the needs as well as the needs of each other. their suggestions, and share approaches that enhance connectivity through lively discussion.

Cao Yu, one of the blind Mi members, shared that TalkBack on Xiaomi’s smartphone has had a big impact on his life. “Currently, I can use apps like WeChat, order food and maps without any difficulty. This is unthinkable without the accessibility features of Xiaomi phones.”. Cao Yu also shared that his wish is for accessibility features on Xiaomi phones to be more systematic and unified in operating details in the future.

Defective group Mi Fans and Xiaomi members are in discussion at the Co-Creation Conference

Cao Yu is sharing his thoughts on Xiaomi smartphone features

Accessibility technology is one of the key areas that Xiaomi has been focusing on since day one. As a leading company in the field of information connectivity in China and globally, Xiaomi has been developing a lot of connectivity support features since 2013 based on the strategies outlined by the usability research team. accessibility, feedback from Mi Fans and support from multiple departments. For example, the feature “Xiaomi Wensheng” (meaning “Xiaomi listens to the sound” in Chinese) can help users convert voice into words instantly. Xiaomi is also developing voice control and hand gestures for users with physical disabilities, helping them control smart devices remotely using Mi AI speakers or Mi Home software. In addition, the Haptic feature that allows visually impaired users to recognize different information by emitting vibration signals, this product won this year’s iF Design award, which is the best demonstration of what the technology can bring.

The award-winning Haptic feature allows the visually impaired to experience the operating system UI

Liu Qing, who is working in the accessibility technology team at Xiaomi shared “We make friends with consumers and set up feedback systems for defective consumers to receive their comments in a timely manner. At the same time, we bring accessibility technologies to users through this group. Xiaomi always accompanies users with disabilities to ensure products meet their needs. Many accessibility features are also developed continuously with the concept of communication with users, such as Xiaomi Wensheng and Haptic feature. Xiaomi will also systematically improve accessibility features in the future.” In the international market, Xiaomi has partnered with Google to fully support Google’s accessibility services on smartphones. Although at the moment not all supporting features are available for overseas markets, Xiaomi is still determined to bring them to users worldwide in the future.

Liu Qing (centre) and his colleagues are chatting with defective Mi Fans

At the Sharing activity about Accessibility Technology “Touching Beauty”, representatives from the blind group Cai Cong and Fu Gaoshan demonstrated the VoiceOver feature and took turns sharing each person’s work status. . Mr. Fu also highlighted the Voice Recognition AI Speaker project that Xiaomi has created many job opportunities by collaborating with Qualcomm. Tailor-made accessibility software solutions are also offered. Up to now, up to 42 people with disabilities have worked together on the development of the Voice Recognition AI Speaker over the past three years.

Chen Xiaowen, a visually impaired team member working on the project, is someone who broke stereotypes about people with disabilities and saw the importance of working for people in similar circumstances. “I used to be rejected and dismissed for being blind when looking for a job. In fact, we can also do a good job as long as we have good accessibility. In my current position, I mainly in charge of labeling human voices to ‘teach’ the AI ​​to understand user instructions.This opportunity helped me see my self-worth and cohesion, it helped me lead a better life. “

Chen Xiaowen is working on the computer

Technology equality has been one of Xiaomi’s priorities since the group was founded 11 years ago. Xiaomi has been working on accessibility features for more than eight years.

This technology is receiving more attention in foreign markets recently, Xiaomi is also trying to improve to globalize accessibility features, especially those on MIUI. The MIUI operating system is always compatible with Google’s accessibility features on the system and is always consistent with system updates in the recommended time. A concrete example is that all Xiaomi system apps are compatible with Google TalkBack. During MIUI development, Xiaomi added descriptive tags to each app so that TalkBack could read them correctly. Overseas users can give feedback to Xiaomi if they have any suggestions or questions about these cards so that Xiaomi will modify them by adapting to each locale. Accessibility tips are also welcome. By partnering with Google, Xiaomi will continuously enhance its accessibility features.

Dat Nguyen, Xiaomi Vietnam Media Representative said: “Xiaomi is working towards the vision of ‘enabling everyone to enjoy a better life through innovative technology’ with its accessibility technology efforts. We believe that technology is the way to go, including empowering people with disabilities to enjoy smarter lives. Xiaomi will constantly move forward and will develop more accessibility features in foreign markets in the future, including Vietnam.”

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