Mobile

An app that describes the world for the visually impaired

app visually impaired
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The world can be a beautiful place with sunsets, mountains and a plethora of beautiful sites to see all over the world. However, our vision can be one of the most precious things we have, this is only truly realized when we consider all of those who are unfortunately without vision or are somewhat impaired.

For many without vision, the simplest of tasks can present a problem. However, thanks to a new app, the struggles which blind people currently face may become a lot easier.

Aipoly is a new app which can recognize objects using a smartphone’s camera, and then pronounce out what it ‘sees’ to give blind people, more detailed information about what is in front of them. While there are other apps out there that provide a similar service, AIPOLY is the first app that does not require internet as it stores the information within the app.

It is very quick to identify what is in front of the camera and can analyze the camera image three times a second while feeding back what it sees. Though it still makes occasional errors, it is definitely a step forward in the right direction. This technology holds great promise when collaborated with other areas of technology. For example with the implementation of smart glasses such as Google Glass, those who are visually impaired could have a better chance of visualizing or at least a greater understanding of what they are looking at.

Robin Christopherson, who is blind, described his anticipation for the possibilities with this technology in a recent blog post on abilitynet.org.uk. He states “Combining such a useful app with a head-mounted camera would make AIPOLY a winner for me. Having a camera with this kind of intelligent object and text recognition, observing and analyzing whatever it is I’m looking at, is a dream I’ve had ever since the advent of Google Glass ushered in a new era of raised awareness of our surroundings.”

2 Comments

  1. The app works in a number of scenarios. As well as recognizing people it’s seen before and guessing strangers’ age and emotion, it can identify household products by scanning barcodes. It also reads and scan documents, and recognizes US currency. This last function is a good example of how useful it can be. As all dollar bills are the same size and color regardless of value, spotting the difference can be difficult or even impossible for the visually impaired. An app like Seeing AI helps them find that information.

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Sam Brake Guia
Sam is an energetic and passionate writer/blogger, always looking for the next adventure. In August 2016 he donated all of his possessions to charity, quit his job, and left the UK. Since then he has been on the road travelling through North, Central and South America searching for new adventures and amazing stories.