Publicis Pixelpark develops FotoOto, a photo app for people with visual impairments – and for all those who don't just want to see an image
Images with soundtracks
Digital social life is increasingly dominated by images. Be it Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, text is being replaced by photos and videos everywhere we look. To a large degree, this development is excluding people with visual impairments. Publicis Pixelpark demonstrates that inclusion can work in social media – with FotoOto, a smartphone app which provides photos with lots of additional information in a unique way as soon as they are taken. These special images enable the blind and visually impaired to finally take part in social networks. As a result, for the first time about 325 million people worldwide – and about 1.2 million in Germany – can record their particular emotions, moments and memories and share them with others.
Here's how it works: A simple interface design makes the camera easier to use. Integrated image recognition reads out aloud what is to be seen on the image. FotoOto then converts the picture into individual sounds and thus into unique soundscapes. With one click, audio commentary or ambient sounds can be added to the photo.
To make the application particularly user-friendly, it was imperative to have close cooperation between the developers and future users. In discussions and workshops with blind and visually impaired people, Publicis Pixelpark was able to learn which applications and functions would simplify using social networks for them. FotoOto was in the works for one and a half years, in cooperation with the sound studio Not A Machine, and the sound experts from Futura Epsis 1 and Cargo Records. The app would combine images and sounds for the first time, enriching the experience both for those who can see as well as for the blind and visually impaired. This is reflected in the name: "Foto" for the image and "Oto" taken from the Japanese word for sound.
"Currently, most images and videos on the social web are posted or shared without sound or sound aids to comprehension. As a result, blind and visually impaired people miss out on so much of what's happening in the lives of friends and family. With FotoOto, we wanted to create a new tool which is easy to use, is fun and contributes to better understanding on both sides", says Timm Weber, Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Pixelpark. "But in truth it is not a photo app for blind people. It's a photo app for everybody."
The team will be attending re:publica in Berlin on 10 May 2017 to speak about the development and the features of FotoOto.
- Logo of FotoOto, two visuals about the use of FotoOto (German only) and screens of the casefilm
- Portrait Timm Weber
- FotoOto im iTunes App Store
- Casefilm at YouTube
- Website of FotoOto
- FotoOto at Instagram
About Publicis Pixelpark
With about 950 communication experts, Publicis Pixelpark operates at seven locations throughout Germany. Together with our clients we create new things by combining ideas and technologies. To generate the best solutions for brands, communication and e-business. Lead the Change is our mission - we move forward, always hungry for the next step.