When they met in their school tech club, MNET, 18-year-old Anand Chowdhary and 15-year-old Nishant Gadihoke were already developing websites for companies across New Delhi. Nishant started as early as the age of 8, where he began helping his father with his e-commerce business as a hobby, which later developed into a passion. Their early accomplishment has already surprised us, but their newest achievement has made us happier than before.As part of Angelhack, a hackathon competition, they created an app called Oswald that allows people suffering from dyslexia or who are visually impaired to surf the internet with ease. What made us further amazed was the fact that they managed to achieve this milestone within two nights, with the help of red bull and coffee of course. Nishant explains to Homegrown, “Anand and I have been designing websites for a couple of years now. However, through these years, we realised that they do not cater to everyone because people who suffer from dyslexia or are visually impaired have problems surfing the internet, unlike most of us. Moreover as per statistics, these people make up about 50 per cent of the people on internet.”
Motivated to solve this problem, these tech geniuses spent days researching about dyslexia in libraries. They found out that the visually impaired can see better once black text is placed on a yellow background. While designing this tool, they kept this in mind and created options that corrects typography, contrast ratios, and alters other visual elements accordingly, making reading easier for users with disabilities.Moreover, this tool further helps senior citizens by removing unnecessary ads and pop-ups and making the text more legible for their age. “We also have a tools that helps regular users. For example, there is a night reading mode that customizes the text and the brightness of the web page accordingly. Also, with this initiative we hope that this tool becomes more than just an extension on Google Chrome and hits the iOS and Android stores soon,” adds Nishant.
In this new age of e-commerce, teenagers are constantly switching their lives into a virtual space than the offline one. Even though this worries us more than it should, it gives us hope to see the new generation using the virtual reality as a space to create social change by making the internet more inclusive.
Feature image courtesy of The Better India
Words: Karan Kaul