We've always loved to read books. So we were trying to think of a way to share our passion. During this process, we thought about people who would have trouble reading books. After a bit of research, we found out that over 940 million people suffer from some form of vision loss, and decided to focus on this demographic. We tried to analyze the market for products for these people, but only found paid and largely incompatible applications.
What it does:
Our app first gives instructions and information about the app to the person's companion/caregiver. It then interacts with the person through voice commands(this can be activated by shaking the phone). If the caregiver/companion chooses to interact with the app themselves, the app is made in a way that is friendly for them too. The app also resumes where the listener left off when a book is played after being stopped.
How we built it:
We used thunkable classic- a block based mobile app development for beginners much like app inventor.
Challenges we ran into
Getting legal free audio books that the users can listen without fear of copyright issues. It was very hard to make the speech recognizer look for certain keywords in the voice commands We had trouble thinking of a way that the user could activate voice commands during a reading(we decided to use an accelerometer) Finishing the demo video on time
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Its Free! No Copyright Worries! Two of our favorite books were available on librivox(which means they are part of the public domain) and so we included them in the app :-)
What we learned
We learned how hard it is to make an app accessible for different kinds of people
What's next for Raconteur
We're certainly adding many more books and improving our UI/UX for caregivers.