How a visually impaired engineer created a voice command tool with Android

Pramit Bhargava, a computer engineer and founder of Louie, an app for the visually impaired, shared his personal journey of losing his vision and his quest for independence. At the age of 30, Bhargava started experiencing problems with his vision, which gradually deteriorated over time. He was born with perfect eyesight but found himself unable to read anything as his visual impairment worsened.

During this challenging period, Bhargava’s family and friends offered their assistance in performing daily tasks. Although grateful for their support, he was determined to regain his independence and confidence in his abilities. As a computer engineer, Bhargava believed that he could develop a solution not only for himself but also for others in a similar situation.

By chance, Bhargava discovered TalkBack, a screen reader integrated into every Android device by Google. This tool became invaluable in helping him navigate his smartphone and gradually regain his self-assurance. Despite the benefits of TalkBack, Bhargava still encountered difficulties with certain tasks, particularly when trying to call a rideshare service. He struggled to confirm the accuracy of his destination and ensure that his transactions were successfully processed.

Motivated by these challenges, Bhargava set out to create an app that could address these specific issues faced by visually impaired individuals. This app eventually became Louie, a voice-controlled platform that allows visually impaired users to operate third-party mobile applications. Louie overcomes the limitations of TalkBack by providing a more comprehensive and intuitive user experience for visually impaired individuals in various aspects of their lives.

The development of Louie was a significant milestone for Bhargava, as it not only helped him regain his independence but also offered a solution for countless others facing similar challenges. Through his app, visually impaired individuals can now navigate complex tasks, such as calling a rideshare service, with greater ease and confidence. Louie enables users to input destination details and ensures that transactions are executed accurately.

Bhargava’s story serves as a testament to the power of technology in empowering individuals with disabilities. As a computer engineer, he harnessed his skills and knowledge to address a pressing need within the visually impaired community, leveraging the existing technology while also introducing innovative solutions. His personal experience fueled his determination to improve the lives of others facing similar obstacles, and Louie stands as a testament to his commitment.

In conclusion, Pramit Bhargava’s journey from losing his vision to developing Louie, an app for the visually impaired, showcases the potential of technology to transform lives. Through his own experiences, Bhargava recognized the limitations of existing tools and sought to create a solution that would not only restore his independence but also benefit others. His app, Louie, has proved to be a game-changer for visually impaired individuals, offering them greater confidence and autonomy in navigating their daily lives. Bhargava’s story is a testament to the power of determination, innovation, and technological advancements in making a positive impact on society.


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