According to an estimated survey, 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Since the early 1990s, the visual impairment has decreased. But this is a disability that still effects so many people today. There is also the wide range of opportunities offered by information technology to the blind individuals and computer today is being used as an intelligent interface between the visually impaired and the sighted.
By looking at the growing need of advancing information technology, Microsoft has developed a smartphone app exclusively built for the visually impaired. The prototype of Seeing AI app was showed off by the company in March last year. But now, this Seeing AI app is available for users to download for free on iOS. Once the app is downloaded, the users can point their camera at a person. The app will ask them who they are and how they are feeling. As the app uses Artificial Intelligence, therefore, users can run it locally on their phones.
The Seeing AI recognizes people it has seen before and has the ability to guess a stranger’s age and emotion. By scanning barcodes, the app can identify any household products. Moreover, the app reads documents and is familiar with the U.S. currency. This is really helpful for the visually impaired people as it is difficult for them to spot the difference due to the same size of the dollar bills.
This is the same technology that is being used all over the Silicon Valley for powering self-driving cars, drones, and more. The best thing about this app is that the basic functions are carried out directly on the device itself; therefore, it works at places where there is no stable internet connection available. Although the app’s experimental features do require a connection to the cloud for recognizing a hand-writing or describing an entire scene.
Via: The Verge