Google is using AI technique to help the many millions of blind or visually impaired people in the world navigate their homes, offices and other environments.
The Android app Lookout assists blind or visually impaired people to become more independent by sensing the objects, text, and people around them and give them voice alerts.
- Work and play: Office, Shopping, and new spaces.
Tell the users when they’re next to an office elevator or stairwell is, or the various tools they need for their job.
- Home: Cooking, chores, and home life
Tell users where the furniture is if they’re doing chores or cleaning the house and need to move things away from their usual places. For instance, it offers “couch 3 o’clock” to let users understand that the couch is on their right.
- Scan: Create a snapshot of any text for Lookout to read aloud.
- Experimental: Explore beta features
The user can get an early access to the features that are in the pipeline. Lookout will use machine learning to figure out what visually impaired users think it’s important and worth hearing about and then accordingly deliver more appropriate results So the more people use it, the better it becomes.
Google recommends users hang the phone around their neck with a lanyard or in of a shirt pocket, with its rear camera positioned in front which enables the app to scan the surroundings. In the Lookout app, select a mode and the app will sense the object in the physical surrounding and alert the user about the location, such as a chair nearby, an exit sign and the location of a bathroom. It can even detect and speak the text of a book that a user wishes to read.
Moreover, the core experience on Lookout is processed on the device to offer its features without requiring an internet connection.
Google is testing Lookout app now and the app is coming to the Play Store in the U.S later this year.
“Accessibility will be an ongoing priority for us, and Lookout is one step in helping blind or visually impaired people gain more independence by understanding their physical surroundings.”
said Patrick Clary, Product Manager for Google’s Central Accessibility Team, in a blog post.
I am very pleased to see that Google or other companies are committed to the development of accessibility for the benefit of friends with disabilities. Google did not say whether the LookoutApp can be implemented by the voice assistant Google Assistant. If not, visually impaired people still need help from others to open the App and select a mode before they can start to use it to see the world. I’d love to see that Google can quickly improve Lookout’s not-so-perfect part and make it easier for blind or visually impaired people to access to the real world.
❤️Love from Catwomanteresa
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