PDA

View Full Version : Why doesn't the iPod have Speakable Items?


dotnina
Nov 12, 2004, 01:40 AM
So, I was thinking about the iPod a little while ago and I'm wondering, why doesn't it have something like Speakable Items. I imagine that the lack of such a thing makes navigating an iPod incredibly difficult for the seeing impaired. I know this is probably the case for many things in life, but Apple seems like such a champion for those with disabilities.

We know Apple has the know-how to do something like Speakable Items, so why in all these revisions haven't we seen an iPod with such capability? I personally don't know anyone who is blind, but it seems like you'd really, really have a hard time using the iPod. Speakable Items for the iPod could also be a neat feature for others. For example, if you want to browse through songs without looking at the screen, the iPod could perhaps say the name of a menu item if you've paused on it for 1 or more seconds.

So, why do you think Apple hasn't stuck this technology on the iPod yet? Is this a technical issue, or otherwise? What do you think is holding Apple back on this? The iPod already has a ton of neat features ... why not include something like Speakable Items, as well? I'm curious to know what everyone thinks.

Edit: By "Speakable Items," I mean items where you control things by voice, but perhaps also items that speak "on their own."

yamabushi
Nov 12, 2004, 01:57 AM
Speakable Items for menu navigation would be a great feature to have. Combine it with a microphone and voice commands and you could have a nearly hands and eyes free interface.

stoid
Nov 12, 2004, 01:59 AM
It would require that the built-in chip can handle voice recognition to the point on understanding the different commands. I don't know if its a fast enough, general enough processor to handle this task.

AmigoMac
Nov 12, 2004, 04:15 AM
When they give speakable items, we will complain because they don't offer the possibility to control the iPod with the mind. Come on, apple is always behind the trends...

Rye Brye
Nov 12, 2004, 04:58 AM
Of all the blind people out there, how many of them want an iPod? Probably very few. They can't see how cool it looks. If they added speakable items to the ipod, how many people would be interest inn it? how much would they be willing to pay for it? low demand = no interest in it. Apple can best spend it's time developing other cool features that will make it more money.

rdowns
Nov 12, 2004, 05:44 AM
I agree, the demand is probably very, very low. As a primarily PORTABLE music player, would seem to me that the blind and visual impaired kind of need to be hearing their environment when mobile.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 12, 2004, 05:57 AM
The voice recognition part of Speakable Items just isn't practical in an iPod now, but having the iPod speak the names of menu items would be pretty cool, especially if you could choose from a selection of voices.

AmigoMac
Nov 12, 2004, 06:11 AM
but having the iPod speak the names of menu items would be pretty cool, especially if you could choose from a selection of voices.

isn't it nice to have an iPod that will talk to you? ;)

...
..
.

No :p

dobbin
Nov 12, 2004, 07:45 AM
Of all the blind people out there, how many of them want an iPod? Probably very few.

I don't really understand what you mean?

I'm not blind myself, but I have known a lot of people who are. Strangely enough, they are just like you and me, and theres no reason why they wouldn't want an iPod. If you lost your sight in an accident (I hope this never happens) do you think you would suddenly stop wanting to use your iPod? I doubt it.

The sad thing is that because many blind people can't get a decent job (due to people not understanding their situation), many have below average income and wouldn't be able to afford an ipod.

I think its a great idea though, and Apple should get onto it. As with using a computer, I think having it speak to you is more useful than speaking to it. Who would want to be on a bus with your earphones in, and have to say "music, artists, britney spears, oops I did it again, volume up up up, play". The whole bus would be laughing at you. Much better to control it by touch and have audio feedback to confirm what you've done.

AmigoMac
Nov 12, 2004, 08:13 AM
Who would want to be on a bus with your earphones in, and have to say "music, artists, britney spears, oops I did it again, volume up up up, play".

:D , I thought about the same song... oops! :p ...

On the go list:

Hey Mama!
Oops I did it again.
...
..
. Pretty embarrassing, people still see you as an alien if you have a bluetooth free-hands mic.

Dunepilot
Nov 12, 2004, 08:55 AM
I agree that having the menus spoken back to the listener would be an excellent feature for the visually-impaired. Apart from anything else, this would help push sales of audiobooks from the iTMS so it's in Apple's interest (or some ingenious third party software house) to do this.

Bring on the speaking ipods!

dobbin
Nov 12, 2004, 09:02 AM
Apart from anything else, this would help push sales of audiobooks from the iTMS

possibly, although most visually impaired people qualify for free loan of talking books (http://www.rnib.org.uk/talkingbooks) from RNIB so they might not buy them from the iTMS.

kylos
Nov 12, 2004, 09:15 AM
isn't it nice to have an iPod that will talk to you? ;)

...
..
.

No :p

Victoria and her comrades, are pretty funny. I especially like the non-standard quotes, such as:

(song)
The light you see
at the end of the tunnel
is the headlamp
of a fast approaching train

and

(very fast)
The sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse.

Dunepilot
Nov 12, 2004, 09:42 AM
possibly, although most visually impaired people qualify for free loan of talking books (http://www.rnib.org.uk/talkingbooks) from RNIB so they might not buy them from the iTMS.

That's interesting. However, there is a part of that page that says

From 1 April 2004, the cost of an annual membership subscription is 66. This should be, and often is, paid by the local authority.

Maybe Apple could broker some sort of deal with the RNIB so the iTMS or a bespoke RNIB entry into the iTMS could be used for this sort of thing in the future?

Dune