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Google ChromeVox Accessibility Tool Lets the Cloud Talk Back

Matthew Weinberger

May 20, 2011

1 Min Read
Google ChromeVox Accessibility Tool Lets the Cloud Talk Back

There’s a ton of chatter around the Google Chrome OS and the cloud-based Chromebooks designed to run it in the aftermath of the Google I/O conference. And now Google is offering a developer beta of ChromeVox, an accessibility tool designed as a Chrome extension thata reads text out loud. It sounds simple, but here’s why cloud ISVs – especially those who plan on offering software in the Chrome Web App Store – should be excited.

As a Chrome extension, Google ChromeVox is “built using only web technologies like HTML5, CSS and Javascript,” according to the official blog entry. Taking that a step further, since Google ChromeVox is the built-in accessibility solution for Chrome OS, developers can easily have it integrate with their own web-based applications via API.

More than that, too, Google ChromeVox comes with online tutorials that help ensure all text-to-speech is working properly, and all aspects of the application are accessible via keyboard. That’s a huge boon for any Google developer aiming at, say, the education or governmental verticals, where the ability to meet the needs of sight-impaired users could make the sale.

Earth-shaking? No. But it’s a sign that Google is thinking things through to a certain extent when it comes to the release of its Chrome OS.

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