Everyone Knows that Dealer Synergy's Chief Trainer is LA Williams and LA, is blind. S, when I saw this article my first thought was how this could benefit him AND our Dealer Community. You see, what has been amazing is that LA does such a tremendous job that a lot of our dealership network have actually went out and recruited BLIND employees! Yes, thats right we have dealerships that have Blind or Visually Impaired Automotive Internet Sales, BDC, Call Center staff members.
Here is the article I saw and wanted to share with you all -
Android App Makes Smartphones Accessible for the Blind
When someone buys their first smartphone, the first question is usually, what apps should I get? Apps are part of what make our phones so valuable to us, from getting directions to finding a place nearby to eat, to keeping track of various items when we travel.
And now, thanks to a man who is visually-impaired himself, there’s an Android app that will turn a regular smartphone into a powerful tool for the blind.
Roger Wilson-Hinds, director and co-founder of Screenreader, built the app, called Georgie, specifically to help blind users navigate day-to-day obstacles like catching a bus, reading printed text and knowing exactly where they are at all times.
“It’s the first smartphone that’s been designed for blind people by blind people,” he said. And he should know, he just recently sent his very first text message.
Users can buy an Android smartphone pre-loaded with the Georgie software from Sight and Sound Technology, which provides hardware and software solutions for the blind. If they already own an Android phone, they can buy the app from the Google Play store and install it themselves.
Georgie uses fingers and gestures to let users navigate the software, just like you do normally. However, with Georgie, you hold your finger down, wait for a beep and hear the function you’re touching read out loud, whether it’s to make a call, send a text, or determine your location. Georgie makes extensive use of voice control software.
“Georgie is a suite of applications designed to cater for every single part of a visually-impaired person’s life,” says Glenn Tookey, CEO of Sight and Sound Technology, which distributes the software.
Users can purchase and download additional apps that provide more functions. The lifestyle app pack, for instance, offers newspapers that read aloud, and an online blog that lets you post using voice control. The Travel app has a feature that flags nearby points of interest as well as a sort of bus monitor that will verbally let you know when the next bus is due.
Wilson-Hinds, who named the software after his blind wife’s first seeing-eye dog, says Georgie will “totally change the lives of blind and partially-sighted people all over the world.”
The world, soon, as Georgie is branching out beyond the UK. US Android users can find the link in the Google Play store here. Sight and Sound Technology is currently working with distributors to offer Georgie pre-installed on handsets in the US.
Here’s a video so you can see for yourself how Georgie works:
What are other ways technology is allowing people with disabilities to gain more independence? Is Georgie something you would buy for someone you know?
Many of you already have websites which are (hopefully) integrated with your offline advertising channels (radio, tv, billboard, newspaper, magazines, direct mail), and you probably generate a substantial part of your traffic and leads through this channel.
What if I were to tell you that Google has made a game changing, strategic move that could reduce your online leads, traffic and profits considerably within the next 2 – 5 years if you do NOT pay attention to the implications of that move?
Google spent $12.5Billion last year to acquire Motorola Mobility, and this acquisition was so strategically important that Google spent more than 41% of it’s free cash for the deal. Now, why would Google bet almost half its cash reserves to make this deal? Is this acquisition telling you something about the future of the internet that WILL have a profound impact on your business if you ignore it? Note that, Google almost OWNS the internet today, but was willing to bet nearly half of its cash reserves to get into the mobile app design solutions playing field!
To understand why, consider these facts:
The Whole World Is Going MOBILE!
- · There are 5.2Billion mobile phones worldwide and growing rapidly
- · There are 1.1billion smart phones worldwide and growing rapidly
- · About 80% of US households have mobile phones
- · In the US, about 25% of mobile web users are mobile ONLY!
- · A whopping 10% of Google’s page views are mobile
- · About 83% of people go online to find a business
Bottom Line: Mobile apps are now replacing web sites. And if you are not thinking about or taking steps TODAY to integrate your existing websites with mobile, you will slowly find yourself out of business!
So What Do You Do?
Fortunately for the small to medium sized business person, there is still time to act, even though the window is closing fast! There are a few, affordable, scalable and functionally powerful ; cross platform mobile app solutions on the market for you.
What Features MUST You Look For In Your Mobile App Design Solution?
- · Your App Must Have Cross Platform Capability – Must work on Iphones, Ipads, Android, Windows, Blackberry and if you can afford it, Kindle and Nook!
- · Push Notification – This feature allows you to send unlimited offers/coupons to ALL your customers who have opted to download your app ( at NO additional charge)!
o And by the way, the open rate on push notifications is 97% within 5 minutes, vs. only 4% for emails and even lower for newsletters!
- GPS Direction – One tap by your customer; and directions to your business is displayed!
- Quick Response (QR) Coupons – Can be used to download your apps and also as a ‘frequent buyer” card similar to the paper cards used by coffee shops, etc
- Tap To Call – One tap, and device calls your business, no more fumbling to find a # and dial
- Tap To Email – For your newsletter, etc
- Mobile Appointment Scheduling/Reminders – For the Service Division - Should integrate with your existing platform and allow you to schedule and/or remind customers of upcoming service by text messaging.
- Simple, Inexpensive, Complete Integration: Your app must be capable of handling the existing functionality and features on your website, and must be scalable to handle future changes. You must not accept high cost, ongoing code changes.
- Guaranteed Submission & Acceptance Into Apple I-Stores & Android Market Place: Your app is no good unless it is accepted by Apple & Google. Your mobile app developer must have the credibility and ability to deliver your app to Apple and Google!
Finally, WHY Should You Consider Getting A Mobile APP?
Your current and/or future customers comprise the majority of the ‘untethered” consumer. Whoever is in their pockets (via smart phone app), will COMMAND their attention, loyalty and $$$ dollars!
- Their smart phone are within reach 24/7
- 97% of them will open/read your messages/coupons or offers within 5 minutes, vs. only 4% for email (within 24hrs)
- It Is A Question Of ROI And Profitability- Your mobile app will help you better integrate and tie together ALL your online and offline marketing channels. and reduce your advertising seepage!
- Your websites must be integrated and connected to your mobile apps.
- You will reduce advertising expense seepage, and with the same amount of ad spend, you should expect to get more customers, keep your existing customers coming back more often and buying more often from you.
- A mobile app allows you to have a one on one intimate communication with your customers
- Constant Branding – You are right ON your customers’ mobile device 24/7!
Click here for more information about how you can take advantage of this mobile app design solution
Michael Ofori is President of MVO & Associates, LLC, a multi-media advertising agency and can be reached at:
978-631-0363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org