Most audio players available on the market are created for young people and
their main function is playing music. They are small, have multiple functions
like shuffle, repeat, radio and even video playback.
All of these features make the popular players hard to use for the elderly.
Especially if they struggle with poor eyesight and their motor skills aren't
as good as they used to be. Yet for many seniors listening to audiobooks
becomes an alternative to reading that gets harder and harder as their sight
They need a suitable tool.
Homer Player is an Android application for playing audiobooks. With it's simple
user interface and a unique set of features it is intended mainly for people
with low vision and for the elderly.
Audio book support
Playback is geared towards audiobooks with folder-based navigation. The folder
name is the title.
Subfolders are treated as part of the same book (useful for books that come on
Resume where stopped
Playback is resumed where you have left off. And with the jump back feature it
actually goes back 15s earlier to remind you the last sentence or two.
The position is stored for each book separately so you can safely switch between
Low vision friendly interface
Book titles are read out loud when browsing.
The buttons are large and with high contrast.
There's no need to press any buttons to stop playback—just put the device
on a level surface with its screen down.
Playback is paused automatically after a configured time (e.g. 10 minutes) so
that the book doesn't play the whole night when the listener falls asleep.
Shake the device to extend the timer.
Slow down playback for those who are hard of hearing or need more time to
understand speech (e.g. after a stroke).
Single application mode (kiosk mode)
With the kiosk mode enabled the user's actions are confined to the application
and no other functions of the device are available.
This way a multipurpose tablet can be converted into a simple to use, single
purpose audiobook player. The other functions of the device don't become a
distraction to the user.