This is the web site for the Aural User Interface (AUI for short, and pronounced "owie"). AUI is a program to help blind and visually impaired (B/VI) people use a computer by creating a new way of interacting with a computer — one tuned to the needs and abilities of people who don't see.

From their beginnings, computers have relied heavily on visual information to communicate with users. This is an attempt to provide an alternative.

Spinning the scroll wheel, moving the mouse, and clicking the mouse buttons are the only inputs required for the program, and the mouse is (effectively) on a mouse pad that stretches to infinity in all directions. As the scroll wheel spins (or the mouse moves), a menu scrolls under it, and the names of different possible selections are spoken by the computer. A double-click of the mouse selects the current cell, and the associated action is performed.

There is a display and a keyboard, provided for VI folk, but they aren't necessary — the program can be run entirely by operating the mouse and listening to the spoken feedback.

Through it all, the computer generates sound effects for feedback — key clicks, mouse button clicks, menu motion, etc.

It runs on Macintosh computers with Intel processors running Mac OS X Leopard (OS X v10.5, OS X.V, etc.), the latest (as of October 5, 2008) version of OS X.

In the videos on this site, Brett Simpson, one of the B/VI student 'guinea pigs' who was kind enough to help with the development of this package, demonstrates parts of the program. Jerry Chamkis was the producer, director, cameraman, film editor, and the voice off-screen.

If you can't see anything in the upper right hand corner of this web page, your browser doesn't do "embedded video imports" from YouTube. Here's a link directly to the video on YouTube. Brett's demonstrations of some of the activities AUI's capable of are just clips edited from this video.

AUI is completely free. It doesn't cost anything, and both the program and the source code (and often some other stuff) are available for download on this site. (The source code is an Apple Xcode 3.1 project folder.)

A little why and wherefore essay...

A little about what the program does, and how...

A little installation documentation...

And a little hardware discussion...

And to contact the project: aui.info@auraluserinterface.com