Amazon Alexa demonstrates the difference technology can make to the visually impaired
Technology can act as a solution to issues people with visual impairments face when it comes to access to information.
Assistant Editor, BITE
‘Morning Ritual’ tells an everyday story of a young woman getting ready for work at the start of the day. She gets dressed, greets her dog and makes her morning coffee. It’s only when she checks the weather that we realise how Alexa can help with the seemingly simplest of things.
Over two million people in the UK are estimated to be living with visual impairment today and it’s predicted that his number will rise to over four million by 2050, according to research conducted by the RNIB. Of these individuals, overall less than one in three blind and partially sighted people feel able to make the most of new technology.
But technology can act as a solution to issues people with visual impairments face when it comes to access to information. Technology can act as a bridge to make the world more accessible with simple acts such as reading inaccessible information.
The growth of voice technology, while opposed by many a user and critic alike, has created an enormous opportunity for people who are visually impaired. This everyday assistance is at the heart of Amazon’s latest ad from Joint London, ‘Morning Ritual,’ created in partnership with RNIB.
The ad opens on a few seemingly ordinary scenes. A woman wakes up, asks Alexa the time, greets her dog and goes downstairs to make coffee. She moves carefully but confidentially through the house. It’s only when she’s standing by the window, rain streaming down the glass and she asks her Alexa what the weather is that we realise the alternative function the device is playing in her life: it is acting as her eyes on the outside world, providing her with information she otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
This subtle twist demonstrates the power of tech-enabled homes, how they have the scope to improve simple, everyday activities for people who live with visual impairment or disability. A spot that brings much-needed emotional and positive associations to the Amazon brand.
As the use of voice-enabled technology only increases, design teams and engineers need to ensure that these innovations are enabled for everyone. Technology needs to be designed inclusively because, when it works for those people who experience impairments or disabilities, it will only work even better for everyone. This thoughtful campaign helps to place this issue front and centre.