Who are we?
Nancy's Pantry is made up of a group of students at the University of Virginia sponsored by Computer Science faculty member Prof. Paul Reynolds. We are dedicated to creating software for the disabled. We have developed a restaurant menu reader for Android smartphones.
Nancy's Pantry Menu Reader Application
Imagine walking into a restaurant and not being able to read the menu. How can you order? If you are lucky, the restaurant keeps a Braille copy of its menu. Braille menus are large, expensive, and often out-of-date. If not, you could ask a friend to read the menu to you. But what if you are dining alone? Maybe you researched the restaurant on the Internet earlier, but what if you went out spontaneously? None of these options provide flexibility or independence. This is a reality for the twenty-five million visually impaired Americans. We wanted to fix that.
The Nancy's Pantry menu reader provides a new way to understand restaurant menus. Better yet, the application will reorder the menu according to your food preferences which saves you time. This application was designed to be fully accessible to the visually impaired. The application determines the restaurant that the user is in. It pulls the correct menu from our database and reorders it according to your preferences. The application then displays the menu in an interactive manner that allows the user to browse the menu easily. The application has the menu written and uses text-to-speech technology to read the menu out loud.
Anyone can use this application. This application is for the visually impaired, members of the “Reading Glasses Club,” and people in a hurry.
It is the goal of the team to provide useful and affordable products to the visually impaired. It is not our goal to make money. The restaurant menu reader application will be available on the Android Market free of charge. All code will be open source and available on the Internet. We hope that Nancy's Pantry will inspire other software developers to improve our design or create similar accessible applications.
Smartphones are a new platform for computer developers. They are portable, computationally powerful, and relatively inexpensive. A smartphone is not a single- purpose device; they can access the Internet, send email, and make phone calls. A smartphone has more “bang for its buck” than a stand-alone reader. As smartphones become more and more popular, it is more likely that the user will already own one.