Interaction Updates: Accessibility and more

The Fall Creators Update also brings some interesting new developments in the interaction with Windows itself. There’s now the ability to control Windows 10 with your eyes, using Eye Control beta, a much improved screen reader, and improved dictation support, all in an effort to make Windows more accessible.

Eye Control

If anyone has had a chance to try out a system with the Tobii Eye Tracker, it’s a very interesting camera system that can accurately track your eyes, displaying exactly where you are looking. This has been leveraged on gaming PCs as not only a way to allow faster interactions, but for training as well, since you can review your footage and see where you were looking during the game. Microsoft has added this technology support into Windows to allow people with disabilities to operate an onscreen mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech, using their eyes.

Narrator

For visually impaired people, Narrator has been improved using Microsoft Cognitive Services, meaning the Narrator program can generate image descriptions for images that are not accompanied by text.

Dictation

Dictation has also been improved with modern speech recognition services, which are cloud based, much like digital personal assistants, and the accuracy of the speech recognition should be improved quite a bit.

Color Filters

Color vision deficiency, or color blindness, is a condition that affects many people. With the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has added the ability to apply filters to Windows to improve the experience of using a computer for people that suffer from this condition. They’ve added five filters to cover the various types of color blindness.

Swipe Keyboard

Even though Windows 10 Mobile always had a great swipe keyboard, the desktop OS was always saddled with a hunt and peck touch based keyboard. With the Fall Creators Update, you can now choose the swipe keyboard when in touch mode by pressing the keyboard icon in the top left of the touch keyboard. The new Swipe keyboard is practically identical to the Windows 10 Mobile one, and that’s not a bad thing. It has word prediction as well. It does have a drawback in that it is size constrained, so it’s a bit odd looking on a larger display, but should be an improvement over the original keyboard to anyone that prefers a swipe style, which should be everyone by this point.

Emoji Picker

If you love Emoji, there’s a new Emoji picker as well, which can be accessed with Win + Period or Semicolon.

However, it’s currently only available to people with their region set to the USA, which is unfortunately an incredibly common problem for users outside of the USA, such as myself. Even though Microsoft is a global company, then tend to region restrict random things for no apparent reason, and this is one of them.

Find My Pen

Pen interaction has been a feature that Microsoft has promoted for some time, however losing your pen can be a bit of a pain. To help with lost pens, Windows 10 will now track your pen based on where it was used with your PC last. Pens don’t have built-in GPS, unlike phones, or other devices, so this is the best compromise available. With the cost of a digital pen being what it is, even helping once will make this feature worth it.

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  • ddriver - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Oh wow, I bet those 10 seconds you save are a life changer. Reply
  • inighthawki - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Oh come on. He's booting into several different OSs a day. That's at least a full minute. Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Yeah, and they are all windoze 10, which saves that much time :)

    I was talking about the boot time difference relative to w7, not the overall boot time.

    I usually run at least 2-3 OS in the same time, it is much faster and far more usable when you use virtual machines rather than booting one OS at a time. You get to use them in parallel and also avoid the mobo post time. The only downside is you need plenty of ram.
    Reply
  • ddrіver - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - link

    Well, not actually every few months but easily every couple of days. Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Windoze 10 is a great OS, I just has an amazing experience with it the other day with its latest and greatest iteration.

    A laptop was behaving weirdly, so I decided to do some checkups, beginning with a disk check.

    Clicking to run the disk check, I was told that there is no need to run it because the disk is OK.

    I insisted to run it nonetheless, and to automatically fix errors.

    About 1 second in the check, I was told that the error check cannot continue because the drive contains errors, and to run it again after I fix the errors.

    Great functionality, I have to admit. It's like ordering pizza and they tell you they can't deliver you pizza because you have no pizza, and to call back again when you have the pizza.

    And what stunning graphics design, for example the settings dialogs are literally just a white background with 3 columns of text. It is like looking at HTML without the CSS styling applied. Just pathetic and hideous.

    And in an all-too-typical for m$ fashion, they are more invested into introducing even more useless bloatware.
    Reply
  • ddrіver - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - link

    Then again I haven't actually done any troubleshooting without Google for so long... Google 1, M$ 0.
    And they could make those Windoze 10 menus with gold and glitter and they'd still suck. Because they're M$.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    LOL, I have a copy-troll now. Reply
  • ddrіver - Monday, November 13, 2017 - link

    Mispost. Reply
  • jardows2 - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Protected folder option - great! Going to be checking this out and enabling on all my computers. I wonder how it works with network mapped drives? Will this folder have to be selected as a protected folder on all PC's that have write access? Reply
  • peevee - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Brett, where are multiple Linux flavors? Reply

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