Now even the visually impaired can enjoy the social spectrum of the virtual space known as Second Life…really. The PC social gaming environment has just released details on a new virtual guide dog to be in use when blind users log on. Using text-to-speech interactivity software, the dog, a german shepard named Max, can relay signs and messages to the user and help give them a tour through the various environments. Controlled entirely through the keyboard, Max spouts constant updates on the surrounding environment and people to help gime an image to the users and help them navigate the game. Set to release as a free download on June 20th, the virtual pet has already become a major talking point.
Bridget Warr, chief executive of Guide Dogs said: “This is a significant technological development, meaning blind and partially sighted people now have greater mobility and enhanced vision in the virtual world. Max is one clever dog, opening up new opportunities for those with sight loss.”