Improving Accessibility in the real world using Augmented Reality

The story of how we made an app to help people with dyslexia
Published on December 23, 2018 by Mudita Sisodia

When we started brainstorming ideas for our degree’s thesis project, we knew that we wanted to work towards improving how people interact with technology, specifically accessibility. Through preliminary research, we narrowed our focus down to visual and cognitive impairments such as dyslexia, color blindness, and partial vision loss. Here is how we created Augmenta11y, an AR solution for helping individuals with dyslexia read real-world text better.

The Why

According to Dyslexia International, at least 1 in 10 people are affected by dyslexia, i.e. more than 700 million children and adults worldwide. Being a hidden disability, it is difficult to detect and has no cure. Moreover, manifestations of dyslexia vary from subject to subject, and each person overcomes dyslexia in a different way depending on their way of learning and on other cognitive abilities.

On the web, there are some handy products that help such individuals navigate and understand the internet better. One of them is Agastya, a plugin developed by Oswald Labs. As young researchers, we loved the idea behind the plugin and wanted to translate the same concept to the real world where text could be more accessible to people on the fly with their smartphones. We got in touch with Anand Chowdhary, CEO of Oswald Labs, and told him about our idea. He was very supportive and agreed to sponsor our research.

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