Veriff accessibility feature, Cognixion biometrics to help people with impairments
Veriff has released an accessibility upgrade for its online verification product to help people with disabilities and impairments get remote access to digital services, the company announced.
The company’s website is now compliant with the AA standard of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. A service focused on inclusion, the verification process no longer relies on using a mouse, but can be completed with a keyboard and screen reader. The new features are currently available in Veriff’s Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android and web applications, and iOS will soon follow.
“We make sure that all people, regardless of their disability or impairment, are included and have equal access to digital services. It’s especially vital now as the COVID crisis accelerated digitalization and online verification has become an integral part of any digital service,” Janer Gorohhov, Veriff COO and co-founder, said in a prepared statement.
When developing and testing the accessibility feature, Veriff worked with the Estonian Blind Union, a member of the European Blind Union.
“By today, accessibility should be a natural part of any product development and design process. Unfortunately, most digital services and apps are not accessible for people with visual impairments. It’s great to see that thanks to Veriff there are now more services available that people can independently use,” said Jakob Rosin, the institution’s chairman, in a prepared statement.
“When actual visits to a bank office to verify your identity can be annoying for anyone, they are almost impossible for people with disabilities because of poor physical accessibility. I do believe that disabled people could be the most loyal customer segment for any company who is considering their needs when designing products and services.”
There are nearly 300 million visually impaired people in the world, out of which 39 million are blind and require assistance when trying to access digital services, according to the World Health Organization.
Cognixion and Lincare develop facial recognition, eye tracking system for speech impairment
Assistive technology provider Cognixion and Lincare AAC have launched a biometric technology to allow oxygen and respiratory therapy patients across the U.S. to more easily communicate, the company announced.
Expression Eye is a speech generating device that leverages biometric facial recognition and eye tracking in Cognixion’s Speakprose app. The system can be covered by insurance and is accessible for speech therapists and people with communication impairment. When using the Speakprose Pro+ app, people gain access to a hands-free eye-tracking and facial recognition interface, which can be useful when on respiratory therapy as are many COVID-19 patients. The solution will be available in 48 states across the U.S.
Lincare AAC is a division of Lincare Holdings, which provides oxygen and respiratory therapy services.
“Access to this level of technology has historically been limited due to high out-of-pocket cost, personal insurance limitations, and state funding restrictions,” said in a prepared statement Lucas Steuber, MA Applied Linguistics, MS CCC/SLP, Clinical Director of Product Development at Cognixion. “Partnering with Lincare AAC provides immediate funding support in 48 states – this makes our mission even more achievable – aiming to unlock speech for hundreds of millions of people worldwide affected by communication disabilities.”
Speakprose Pro is also available for fast access to a conversational interface through gestures, swipes, and taps, predictive keyboards, sentence building tiles, and stored phrases. Cognixion has partnered with a number of medical institutions to provide Speakprose Pro+ to intubated and ventilated patients who can now use their eyes and facial expressions to communicate.
The app is available through the Expression Eye tablet series for speech and motor-function disabilities across 48 states in the U.S., and worldwide where the U.S. Armed Forces are located.
Cognixion was recently named among top ten leading neurotech startups to keep a close eye on.