How Would Siri Be Helpful to People With Vision Problems?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ImFromLA, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. ImFromLA macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    How helpful would the 4S with Sirri be for somebody who has vision problems?

    The reason I ask is because my sister has has an eye condition & hates all these new touchscreen smartphones.

    She has an old flip phone & she likes that it has the numbers like that because she pretty much has that memorized.


    Could you send text messages or call somebody with Siri? Would it read the text messages to you?

    I know she hates having to do that because when she's out walking around or at work she can't see what the phone says without her little magnifying glass.

    What about playing music with Siri, could you tell it to play a certain playlist, artists, or genre?

    In what other ways would Siri be helpful?

    FYI she's not completely blind

    thanks in advance
  2. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Go for it. Apple even included a blind actor in one of their Siri commercials.
  3. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    Siri can do all of those things. Try it in an Apple store/carrier store and ask Siri "What can you do". She'll give you a list. If accessibility is turned on, she'll also read that list aloud.
  4. Tom G., Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012

    Tom G. macrumors 68010

    Tom G.

    Jun 16, 2009
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    Since I do not have vision problems I would have a hard time fully answering your question. However, I will try to give you a couple of instances and hope that others will join in.

    You should know that at present Siri is not perfect and you do need a good connection via 3g or above or wifi for her to work at her best potential. (Pardon me for using "her" or "she" but she does have a female voice here in the U.S.

    Answering email or texting, or calling someone are of course three very handy uses of it and in fact is what the person in the iPhone ad is doing. But anything that can be voiced as a question could be done also.

    You can also ask Siri to read something to you, again as in answering e-Mail or texts to you.

    You have of course explored the helps available under Settings>General>Accessibility, right? I think that these added to Siri would be a great advantage.

    I notice that you say she has the memorized the phone numbers memorized that she needs most. With Siri she could just ask her to call a person. You don't have to give a number as long as that number is in your contacts. If the person has a name that would be difficult for Siri to understand then you can give them a nickname that Siri can understand. The people could be listed in contacts as your sisters friend, or relative, that is she could say "Call my sister Iris" and as long as her sister is listed by this name in her contacts Siri will call that person. They could also be listed as a friend, such as "Call my friend Susan>" and as long as their is only one person in her contacts named Susan and listed as her friend Siri will call that person.

    Siri could be very helpful in calling help in an emergency. She could simply say Call 911 and Siri will do it. This is much better than her trying to dial the number.

    Siri has clock functions and she could get the time or set an alarm by just asking Siri to do it.

    She could put items on her calendar and then check her calendar just by asking Siri to do it.

    As I said above Siri is not yet perfect and there is a small learning curve that is working both ways, you are learning what Siri can do and how to get her to do it, while at the same time Siri is learning about you and how you speak etc. The more you use it and experiment with it the better it becomes.

    Although Siri is not yet perfect I believe that in IO6 it is going to get even more powerful and useful. It is being added to the iPad, and it wouldn't surprise me if you see it tied into OS X very soon also.

    I do think that it can improve your sisters ability to communicate more freely and take easier control of facets of her life. I would say go for it!
  5. CallOfDuty macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2012
    Siri is great for hands free operation, and without you looking at your phone. Siri is designed to keep your attention off the phone (well, some features of Siri does like phone and messages) so I think that Siri should be great for your sister.

    In fact, she could simply just say the numbers out and siri can take care off the rest of the calling. No need for her to fumble with the keypads anymore.

    And if you set the accessibility options correctly, voice should be enabled for whatever your sister does, reading out text for her in messages, etc. You can even set the text fonts to be extremely large in messages.

    And yes, it can play music from a certain artist/genre if u asked it to. Its great.

    All she needs to do is to get the feel of where exactly the home button is, which is so much easier than memorising 9 keypads.

    However, you have to take note that Siri only works over an internet connection. However, this is extremely rare (I think) for such cases to happen. I mean, theres internet everywhere nowadays, 2G or 3G or even 4G. You can get at least a 2G connection anywhere else, 3G in most places and 4G (well, fake 4G HSPA+ for AT&T) in many places- and Siri still works well over 2G.
  6. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    My father is 73 and has macular degeneration due to age.
    At first he had to learn how to use it properly, which took about a week. Being who he is, he wasn't happy about that. haha But in time he realized how much easier it was to use.

    Like mentioned before, you have to have a network connection to use it. But so far he has gotten around a lot better. He's a huge sports fan, and it kills him that he can't read scores, etc. So now Siri does it for him.
    For me, his well being is very important, getting him the 4S has made his life a little better and was well worth it.
  7. ImFromLA thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    Thanks for everybody's responses, but I have a couple questions that I'd like to know.

    The 4S has the 3g or above, right?

    If she gets a 4S which comes with IOS5 is there anyway to update to 6?

    Or can you only get the IOS6 with the Iphone 5?
  8. Tom G. macrumors 68010

    Tom G.

    Jun 16, 2009
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    My iPhone 4s picks up 4g just fine. Although some would say it cannot do it, when I was in Indianapolis three weeks ago it picked up LTE for a while. So you will have no problems along those lines. It will use what is available Edge, 3g, 4g, or apparently LTE.

    As far as IOS 6 goes, yes a 4s phone is upgradable to IOS 6. I plan on doing it myself until I make up my mind about the iPhone 5. I expect Siri to be much bettor in IOS 6 as it is being put on the iPad as well.

    Just fyi, the heart of Siri is Wolfram Alpha which is handled by Wolfram Mathematica which is headquartered only about a mile or so from where I live. I don't know if the programming for it is done from there, but they do have a large facility. :D
  9. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Jan 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    It's impossible for any iPhone to connect to an LTE data network. They do not have LTE radios built in, so there is no possible way for an iPhone 4/4S to connect to one. If it said 4G in the status bar, that isn't LTE. "4G" as it's displayed in the status bar on the iPhone 4/4S is just a faster version of 3G, so pretty much it's 3G+, but it is not 4G LTE which actually is a real version of 4G data networking, although only LTE-advanced, is classified as REAL 4G.

    You can get iOS 6 for the iPhone 4S, although if I were you, I'd wait to get the iPhone 5 because it will be able to connect to even more types of data connections that are faster, thus making Siri more reliable (more types of data connections it can acquire) and faster (the iPhone 5 will be able to connect to 4G LTE data networks which are MUCH faster than 3G or "fake 4G (which is HSPA+ which is pretty much a faster version of 3G, but marketed as "4G")).

    Siri would definitely be great for your sister. Coupled with the accessibility settings on the iPhone, she'd probably grow to love it!

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