War Stories: My Journey From Blindness to Building a Fully Conversational User Interface
Chris Maury
21117

A very inspired story, and one I can identify with — not through the experience of having the unfortunate experience of losing my sight, but through working with people who are already enduring or living with a similar experience. I worked at Apple (Head of HE Marketing UK) in the late 90s — early noughties. It was in that role that I started working on the newly emerging iPod as a possible vehicle to help support the visually impaired — and I had a similar thought about a completely new way of providing access to content. It was a long story, but eventually our project transformedd into something we called “blueIRIS”, with talking interfaces, simplified controls and a new way of managing computers — but it was all about getting to content. We even helped test the early “Voiceover” from Apple — which was remarkable and empowering, but added complexity for older users (which in the main they were). I was delighted to read you most positive piece, and want to wish you and Conversant Labs every success. Your attitude is inspired. I’d have loved to have taken our work further, but it had its time. I will keep a close watch on your progress. Best wishes.