Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eyes-Free Home: The Marvin Shell

Video: Eyes-Free Home: The Marvin Shell

1 Video: Eyes-Free Home: The Marvin Shell

Device Used: T-Mobile G1 from HTC

The Marvin shell pulls together available eyes-free applications to provide an integrated user experience. Note that talking applications can come from many sources, with project Eyes-Free being but one such source. For other exciting talking applications that use our open Text To Speech (TTS) APIs, see the Android Marketplace, where you will find many useful tools that integrate seamlessly with Marvin.

when you install the Eyes-Free Shell, you can choose to make Marvin your default home screen --- this means that pressing the home button always brings up the Marvin shell. To return to the default Android home screen, hold down the back button for 3 seconds or more. Here is a brief description of the Marvin user interface.

1.1 Single Touch Access To Useful Tools

The Marvin shell uses the Stroke Dialer to provide single touch access to useful tools right from the home screen. You can explore this interface by moving your finger around the screen --- as you move over the buttons, Marvin speaks the associated action. Lifting up the finger executes the current action. As an example, the top row of the keypad, i.e., 1, 2, and 3 provide status information. Stroking to 4 brings up your favorite short-cuts, and 6 speaks your current location using geo-location information obtained from Google Maps. Pressing 7 connects to your voice-mailbox, and pressing 9 invokes Voice Search to obtain quick spoken answers from Google e.g., current weather for your location. Finally, the applications that appear on the shortcuts screen can be customized by editing XML file

/sdcard/eyesfree/shortcuts.xml
on your SD-Card --- as is apparent, this is a power-user feature:-)!

2 Talking Mini-Applications For Single Touch Access

Here, we demonstrate some of the talking mini-applications that can be accessed from the Marvin screen. All of these mini-applications speak useful information without the need for the user to do some form of context switch.

2.1 Device State

Available from 1 on the Marvin screen, this mini-application announces useful information such as signal strength, and availability of WiFi networks.

2.2 Date And Time

Available on 2 on the Marvin screen, this mini-application provides single-touch access to current date and time.

2.3 Battery State And Power

Pressing 3 on the Marvin screen speaks the current battery level and announces if the phone is presently being charged.

2.4 Knowing Your Location

Available as 6 from the Marvin home screen, this mini-application announces your present location based on information acquired via GPS and the cell network. It speaks your current heading using the built-in magnetic compass, looks up the current location on Google Maps, and announces the location in terms of a nearby address and street intersection.

Author: T.V Raman <raman@google.com>

Date: 2009-03-30 Mon

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