IBM has launched a talking Web browser for blind and visually impaired users that lets them browse, read and even manipulate Web pages.
IBM's Home Page Reader combines its Viavoice Outloud text to speech technology and Netscape Navigator to orally communicate Web pages as they are presented on the computer screen.
Home Page Reader audibly translates tables, forms and images displayed on a Web page. Moreover, Home Page Reader allows users to navigate and manipulate Web page elements like image and text links, form elements, standard text and frames.
IBM's talking browser also has a fast-forward key to quickly locate and differentiate between relevant information. Users hear a male voice for text and a female voice for word links.
Home Page Reader is available now in a US English language version with other languages expected later this year.
IBM has long been researching how to enhance blind users' Web experience. Over a year ago IBM developed a prototype device enabling blind users to access Java based applications and Web pages.
UK ISP Direct Connection also launched a specialised Internet access service for blind and visually impaired users last year (see Newswire 20 November).
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