Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

For People with Vision Loss, Taking Selfies Just Got Easier

by Daniel Parker, RDPFS Intern

Google’s new Pixel 7 smartphone, released on October 13, 2022, includes an accessibility feature designed to allow people with visual impairment to take accurate selfies. The enhancement, known as Guided Frame, uses Google’s TalkBack screen reader to direct the user on the best placement of their phone for a good picture. It may tell a user to move the phone to the left, to the right, up, down, or closer or farther away from their face. Once the phone detects the most accurate angle, Guided Frame automatically takes a selfie. Google points out that the feature is also useful for fully sighted people by allowing the phone to direct them in certain lighting conditions, and also by eliminating the need to move their hands to press the shutter button when taking a photo. As Google’s Senior Technical Program Manager for Accessibility Victor Tsaran stated: “‘What this feature allows me to do is be confident that the result I’m going to get will be a good one.’” Guided Frame is one of the latest in a variety of steps by large technology companies to make their products more accessible and inclusive. Google has launched an app called Lookout, similar to Microsoft’s Seeing AI and to Envision, and Apple has recently released detection features for people and doors. You can find out more information from a CNET article titled “Pixel 7 Makes Taking Selfies Easier for Blind, Low-Vision Users.”