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Israeli Software Designers Simulate Sight Issues for Microsoft

Software designers at the Microsoft lab in Israel have created software to simulate various vision impairments.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 6/15/2010, 3:08 PM / Last Update: 6/15/2010, 4:52 PM

Flash 90

Software designers at the Microsoft lab in Israel have created special software to simulate how the user interface (UI) looks to people suffering from various vision impairments.

The program, called “Digital Lens,” is designed for use with a Windows 7 operating system. Users must also have Windows' Aero Theme enabled in order for it to work properly. A technical preview of the program has been made available for download.

Innovation Labs (ILabs), the firm that created the program, is part of Microsoft Israel's Research and Development Center.

The simulation is intended to help program developers view their design as it would be seen by a visually-impaired user. The program simulates such common conditions as color blindness and blurry vision.

“By emulating common impaired vision conditions, Digital Lens users are able to identify issues in the UI and fix them before the product is released,” the company explained.