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Amazon bringing Voice Guide and Explore by Touch features to Kindle Fires for vision-impaired users (update)


Amazon's been attuned to the needs of its vision-impaired customers for years, first rolling out text-to-speech technology on its original Kindle e-reader years ago. Today the company revealed plans to add to that feature set in its Kindle Fire and Fire HD (7-inch) tablets with Voice Guide and Explore by Touch technology.

Voice Guide's an improvement upon regular text-to-speech tech that reads aloud any action performed by users -- things like announcing app names and book titles when they're selected. Explore by Touch lets folks swipe their fingers across their Fire's display and identifies each onscreen item as their phalanges pass over them. Once aware of what app or piece of content's being touched, a simple tap opens the item. Ready for the new assisted navigation experience right now? Well, all you anxious Fire owners will have to wait, the update doesn't land until early next year.

Update: The good folks at Amazon reached out to let us know that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 already has both Explore by Touch and Voice Guide.

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