The second annual Sight Tech Global happens this week, on December 1-2, and this free, virtual event is incredibly packed with insights about how rapid advances in technology are fostering an accessibility revolution for people who are blind or have low vision. Register today.
All the sessions have been pre-recorded, and I can tell you first-hand that the panels and fireside chats are really remarkable, whether or not tech accessibility is your area. Join our host Will Butler, VP of Be My Eyes, for two incredibly thought-provoking mornings on Dec. 1-2 starting at 8 a.m. PT. Here’s the agenda and my quick take on the 10 sessions:
- Apple: A top Apple researcher explains how the cascade of ML/ AI features (image description, gesture control, scene description) fit together in a customizable accessibility “stack.”
- Amazon Alexa: Alexa’s top AI thinker discusses how Amazon is becoming a more conversational and helpful assistant that talks less and does more.
- Microsoft Seeing AI: The co-founder explains his vision for how to augment navigation for the blind with customizable audio AR.
- Website accessibility 2.0: There is a little-known technical reason why website accessibility is a costly undertaking. That’s about to change.
- Indoor Navigation: Four of the world’s top researchers discuss how new technologies like LiDAR are the foundation to solve this really difficult problem for blind mobility.
- Autonomous Taxis: When will they go commercial and will they work well for the blind and visually impaired? A top AI researcher says not soon; Waymo begs to differ.
- Inventors: Products designed to aid blind people have a way of going mainstream. Think OCR reading machines. These tree inventors are taking their shots.
- Getting to accessible. When and how do product companies reach the finish line. Hear from Spotify and Peloton, which take that on. It’s not easy.
- Blind Kindle: Multi-line Braille displays that can also render tactile graphics are the “Holy Braille” of information appliances. APH shows off its AI-powered prototype.
- Google: 75% of mobile users are on Android, and Google’s Lookout app is essential for the blind Android users. The Lookout team is making the most of Google’s accessibility commitment and AI resources.
If you’re still hungry for more, there are seven, live breakout sessions that go into deeper detail on some of the topics on the main stage as well as new subjects.
- Perkins Access: Using AI to remove digital barriers for math students
- Fable: The future of screen readers: key ideas that will not serve us well
- APH: The development of a new tactile display combining Braille and graphics in one experience
- W3C ARIA-AT: Screen readers, interoperability, and a new era of web accessibility
- HumanWare: The introduction of HumanWare’s new intelligent braille displays
- WordPress.com: A brief look at the accessibility features built into WordPress.com
- Vispero: The next generation of assistive technology user testing is here
Sight Tech Global is a production of the nonprofit Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which has been serving blind and low vision people in Silicon Valley for 75 years.
Sight Tech Global is free to attendees and made possible by a volunteer production team and sponsors Facebook, Salesforce, Google, WordPress, Mojo Vision, Ford, Fable, APH, Humanware, Microsoft, Vispero, Amazon, Yahoo and TechCrunch. All sponsorship revenues go to the nonprofit Vista Center, a 501 (c) (3) New sponsors are alway welcome.