Thursday, May 19, 2011
By T.V. Raman, Research Scientist
Cross-posted with the Chromium Blog
We recently unveiled ChromeVox — a built-in screen reader for Chrome OS — during Google I/O 2011. This is an early developer beta that is designed to help authors of web applications come up to speed with platform accessibility on Chrome OS.
ChromeVox leverages two of Chrome's experimental extension APIs, the experimental.tts API for cross-platform text-to-speech, and the experimental.accessibility API that lets an extension listen for accessibility events in Chrome's menus and toolbars. In turn, ChromeVox exposes a simple screen reader API to web developers who want to further customize the ChromeVox user experience. Thus, within your application, you can:
- Automatically generate spoken messages and earcons.
- Set ChromeVox to synchronize with your application's current focus.
Details on enabling accessibility in Chrome OS can be found on the Accessibility help page, and the Chrome extension is available for download from our Wiki page. For now, ChromeVox is targeted at end-users on Chrome OS, but it may also prove a useful tool to web developers using Chrome on all major platforms. We welcome your feedback via our Open Source project website at http://google-axs-chrome.googlecode.com.
T. V. Raman is a research scientist at Google. He leads a team of engineers building innovative user interfaces on Android and Chrome OS, and researches creating highly efficient eyes-free interfaces.
Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor