[games_access] Accessibility thoughts on Google Pixel and Daydream from a legally blind user

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 26 10:07:16 EST 2016

The Oculus home screen has exactly the same issue -


There's a bit about that in the post. Jesse Anderson contributed some great stuff about VR & low vision, including interfaces that are a fixed distance in front of you Vs interfaces that you can lean closer to.

For google contacts it might be worth hitting up @joshcarpenter on twitter, he should know good Daydream people. I'm sure he would be interested in hearing about your experiences too.


From: Dan Fischbach
Sent: Thursday, 24 November, 00:10
Subject: [games_access] Accessibility thoughts on Google Pixel and Daydream from a legally blind user
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

Hello everyone,

First off, Happy Thanksgiving from the GA SIG! :-)

I know it has been a very long time since I posted something on here. I figured it was time for me to share my experiences with advances in technology with everyone. (Ian: I saw your VR link from the start of the month and will get to it soon!) I apologize if this email comes off a tad ranty.

I recently purchased a new Google Pixel<https://madeby.google.com/phone/> (non-XL) phone to replace my aging Nexus 5<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus_5>.

The first day or so having it as my main phone brought with it - for the first time for me - some accessibility challenges, notably the font and UI size. Luckily, I was able to adjust the DPI ("smallest width") in the Developer settings of the device to match my old device. For the record, the setting was 360. It's a shame that this helpful custom DPI setting is a tad hidden for normal users. (although accessing the Developer options<http://wccftech.com/enable-developer-options-android-nougat/> on any Android device is quite easy)

Anywho if you're reading this you're probably interested in Daydream<https://vr.google.com/daydream/> - which is Google's answer to the various VR headsets out there - and how I fared with it. It's designed to work with the Pixel phone. Since I bought the Pixel phone early enough, I was able to take advantage of an offer that allowed me to get the Daydream device for free. It was a nice gesture, but I was wary. I had never used a VR device before.

The device arrived today and I was skeptical. Would I be able to use this device?

The short answer is: Unfortunately, no.

The text is simply too small for me to read. I even had to fumble my way through the tutorial. I thought I would be able to get my way through by activating the triple-tap accessibility shortcut in Android<https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6006949?hl=en> but no dice. VR doesn't take too kind to that and I would need to keep taking my phone out of the headset. I also had issues with recognizing some icons.

The cursor size and color leaves much to be desired as well. I already came upon a white-on-white (or close to it) scenario.

So now I am in possession of a Daydream device I can't really enjoy. If anyone would like to use me as a guinea pig for accessibility testing or otherwise regarding VR experiences and/or this device, let me know.

If you are or know someone over at Google, I am open to testing with them to improve accessibility of Android and/or Daydream.

Thanks everyone,

Dan Fischbach, Net+, MCP

W: danfischbach.com<http://danfischbach.com> P: 609-458-7920
Proud NJIT (BS) and UCF/FIEA (MS) graduate
Please consider the environment before printing this email

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