Macys.com Adds Browser Tech To Aid Visually Impaired Shoppers - InformationWeek

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Macys.com Adds Browser Tech To Aid Visually Impaired Shoppers

Visitors to Macy.com can use the technology to magnify or alter Web content or have the content read to them to make it easier for people with poor vision to shop online.

People who have a difficult time seeing will have an easier time shopping at Macys.com since the retail giant updated its site with new IBM technology that customizes the way the Web pages are displayed.

IBM's Easy Web Browsing technology, which can be downloaded by online shoppers at no charge, is designed to magnify, speak, or alter browser content for shoppers with impaired vision. It allows users to choose the size and color of Web page content or they can choose to hear the text read aloud.

"Accessibility taps into the best of IBM and our clients," said Frances West, director of IBM's Human Ability and Accessibility Center, in a written statement. "It allows us to exercise social responsibility while creating new markets."

The technology was unveiled Wednesday as part of a 'Made in IBM Labs' event in Cambridge, Mass., where the company showed off upwards of 20 emerging technologies to the press.

IBM teams from its Cambridge-based Human Ability and Accessibility Center and IBM's Pacific Development Center in Vancouver, Canada worked with Macys to implement and launch the solution. To try out the technology, visit the Macys Web site and click on "visually impaired customers: download our new user assistance tool" at the bottom of the home page.

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