Hi Chris et al,
I will happily sign this but I will also send this along to a friend of mine who is working on image analysis software > to solve this specific problem. His thesis is that the
problem is less the Turing tests themselves but, rather,
the lack of innovation or will by the screen reader
even try to create an intelligent agent that can figure out > the text in these somewhat obfuscated graphics. His
work has shown a 95-97% level of accuracy with these > bitmaps and, once they have it converted to a to a plug > in for IE, they'll announce and make it available to
people who want it.
After fighting the document accessibility and screen reader innovation wars for six years, I left FS to work on > more future oriented projects. I truly believe that the
major screen reader companies have given up trying to > do any real innovation and are ignoring problems like
these graphics and complaining that they present
problems that cannot be solved.
I think that the "impossible" excuse has been worn out > so badly that its use is nearly laughable. One screen
reader company has an overwhelming dominant
position so doesn't need to innovate to make money
and the others are too small to have the dollars or the
ability to take risks on moving the art forward.
The result is that we blinks are screwed until something changes in the approach by the established companies or > a new player comes along and, to break into the
market, must do something radically new and exciting
to distinguish themselves and offer a reason for users,
etc. to switch.
I think we're seeing the start of the trend to the new companies pushing the innovation bar up. Serotek with
Freedom Box System Access and Code Factory
with Mobile Speak Pocket are doing some extremely interesting things and taking a lot of risks by playing
against the establishment players. It's
yet to be seen if they can cause a tectonic shift in the
AT landscape though.