Google unveils new ‘Action Blocks’ tool for users with cognitive disabilities


Google has unveiled a new Android feature called Action Blocks, which is aimed to help people with cognitive disabilities.

The feature allows users to add Assistant commands to their home screen and add an image to serve as a visual cue.

Google says the feature is aimed to reduce the complexity of seemingly easy tasks like booking a rideshare. Users with cognitive disabilities can create a visual shortcut for their home page to make the multi-step process easier.

“Action Blocks can be configured to do anything the Assistant can do, in just one tap: call a loved one, share your location, watch your favourite show, control the lights and more,” Ajit Narayanan, a staff software engineer, wrote in a blog post. 

Users can use the Action Blocks app to give each process a name, type out the spoken Assistant voice command, and then add a picture. Once the action has been added to the home screen, it is meant to be easily recognizable for the user.

This feature is a continuation of Google’s DIVA, which allows people with disabilities to use Assistant with actions instead of voice commands.

Source: Google