The popular catalogue store Argos has been around since 1973 yet only became fully accessible to blind people in the last ten years.
The high street chain is famous in the UK for its paper catalogues, which at one time were stacked high in the middle of the store for would-be shoppers to take home and peruse.
The internet age changed all of that and now in-store you will find iPads mounted on to tables where you can select the product you want to buy.
Unfortunately none of these product choosers are accessible. Typical – I hear you cry.
Well, the good news is that the Argos app (on my iPhone) is reasonably accessible. And this move towards a more digital approach to shopping is changing how blind people can access the store.
The retailer has just announced its launch into smart spear ‘shopping’ in partnership with Google Home. You can now make reservations by using just your voice, as demonstrated in this video.
Now is this a good thing for blind people? Arguably yes, because it allows us to browse the Argos catalogue using only our voice. However it doesn’t allow us to buy a product and have it delivered to our door as yet. The Amazon Echo lets us do that so an improvement in that area would be welcome.
For many blind people, the prospect of going out to a store is a daunting experience. Not for everyone of course but it certainly is for me.
The tech is impressive so far and I imagine this is how we will be shopping in years to come but for now I’ll stick with the fairly accessible Argos app on my iPhone and same-day delivery!
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