For screen reader and braille display users, an unlabelled image on a website can not only be annoying but can also mean you miss out on some important information. Hopefully a new feature added to the Google Chrome browser may help.
Once enabled, the Image Description feature will send any unlabelled images found on a web page to Google servers where it will be analysed by the AI powered visual engines. There are different engines for different purposes, for example, one will look for any text in an image, another will try to identify any objects and another will try to described the overall image context or scene. The results are then sent back to the user where they are announced by the screen reader or shown on the braille display.
As we all know, currently AI image recognition isn’t as reliable as a human description, but it can still be incredibly useful for the blind and visually impaired. Follow these steps to enable the feature.
- Open your Chrome browser.
- Press the ALT key to open the Chrome Menu.
- Press ‘S’ or arrow down and press enter on Settings.
- In the ‘Search Settings’ text box that appears type Image Description and press enter.
- Jump to the next heading and tab until you hear Get Image Description from Google button. Press enter to enable it.