Navigation

The soundtrack of this video is actually a recording of the cells in the Activities menu, with the menu sound effects as the cells change. If you close your eyes and just listen, you'll get an idea of what would be like if you were blind, using AUI and moving the mouse to scroll through the Activities menu. And when you hear AUI say what you want to do, double-click the mouse.

It's also a good sample of the text to speech technology available on the Macintosh these days. This is just the Macintosh computer voice, Alex, reading text with no hints or special instructions.

Just how Jerry managed to record the Activities menu, then switch to the Navigation activity without getting the mouse button feedback clicks in his recording is something I need to ask him about.

But he did. As soon as the Activities menu gets to Navigation, AUI starts speaking the steps in the Navigation activity as if they were still in the same menu. In the real world, there'd be a click-click and some burbles between them.

The Navigation activity does just one thing, at this point: tell you how to get from the van stop to the computer building. It's a proof of concept we put together to show the woman who teaches the B/VI students how to get around independently (she liked it). The steps in the instructions were written by her. Listen to them carefully; there are some very nicely thought out details in there.

The idea is that a teacher can write out a series of steps telling how to get from one place to another, and the steps can be put into an AUI menu and played back as the user needs them. And as part of the preparation for an afternoon walk, a user could transfer the steps to an iPod, or equivalent, to take on the walk.

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