The most compelling tech tools to help the visually impaired

The most compelling tech tools to help the visually impaired

In our ongoing series, High Inequity, we’re taking a stare at how assistive skills would possibly perchance presumably help folk with disabilities overcome challenges of their lives, and the pioneers innovating in solutions to create day to day tools extra accessible.

Abilities is increasingly extra improving our lives by very with out misfortune tackling menial tasks – and it’s also serving to folk with disabilities lead extra honest lives and enhance their capability units.

With this in mind, and in celebration of World Accessibility Consciousness Day, here’s a stare at some of basically the most innovative apps and solutions serving to folk with visual impairment this day.

Facebook’s AI-captioned pictures

Caption: Facebook

Assist in April 2016, Facebook launched a brand contemporary feature in its iOS app to help visually impaired users ‘leer’ photos.

By leveraging AI, the app is able to mechanically generate an outline of every portray a users comes throughout.

By the exhaust of a video computer screen reader on iOS, users can hear a checklist of items that feature within the photos, similar to, as an instance, ‘Image can also simply bear six folk sitting on a bench and laughing.”

Seeing AI

Subsequent up Seeing AI, an iOS app launched by Microsoft in July 2017. Precisely described as a ‘talking camera for the blind,’ the free app helps folk identify objects spherical them the exhaust of their iPhone cameras and AI. Merely level your shooter at one thing, and Seeing AI will present you what it’s, out loud.

The app is the consequence of a project at Microsoft Analysis and it’s attention-grabbing to leer how AI and machine studying would possibly perchance presumably help enhance lives both within the short and future.

A VR ‘canetroller’

Caption: YouTube video showing the tool in trudge.

Furthermore from Microsoft, this VR haptic controller helps the visually impaired get an factual psychological design of a virtual condominium.

Genuinely, the tool tries to mimic the trip of the exhaust of a extinct white cane and interprets this in a virtual reality environment.

To beat the need for visual cues, the tool uses vibrations and sound to simulate the assemble of touching assorted virtual objects. It also uses a wearable braking machine to create partitions and barriers seem solid.

We covered the canetroller in February final 12 months, and at the time there have been serene some limitations to overcome – one participant chanced on that the audio modelling, particularly the style sounds echoed off solid objects, wasn’t somewhat real looking enough. However, it’s birth.


In March final 12 months, we wrote about Microsoft’s Soundscape app, which launched after 4 years within the making. The app, within the market in iOS within the UK and the US, seeks to files visually impaired folk spherical cities.

However, how? Smartly, the objective is to produce 3D audio cues that help users rep their destination nevertheless also making them responsive to their environment while they inch to get there.

Venture Torino

Credit rating: Microsoft

Venture Torino is one more attention-grabbing proposal by Microsoft.

The machine contains a programming languageof programming language and big vibrant toys called pods, that will presumably furthermore be mature to create songs, poems, experiences, and sounds to help youngsters with visual impairments to learn to code.


Google’s Lookout is a nifty Android app that leverages AI and computer imaginative and prescient to help the visually impaired. 

It works on Google’s Pixel telephones, which users can wear spherical their neck or interior a shirt pocket with the rear camera facing away from them. The app is able to acknowledge a bunch of issues including printed textual mutter material, signage, folk, and objects. It notifies users about areas with audio cues, similar to ‘car at 6 o’clock.’

Be My Eyes

Microsoft, Google, and Facebook aren’t the real corporations engaged on innovative solutions to help those with a visual impairment.

Be My Eyes, as an instance, leverages the vitality of community to help visually impaired folk to connect with sighted volunteers who “lend their eyes” to help with short, straightforward tasks.

The app was created by Danish founder Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself, after he started brooding in regards to the particular strategy to make exhaust of video name skills to get an assistive tool. It currently has bigger than one hundred,000 blind users, and bigger than 2 million volunteers throughout the globe.

All in all, it’s huge to leer skills transferring beyond the confines of comfort and seeing the perfect scheme it will also simply furthermore be utilized for staunch. Abilities would possibly perchance presumably have to serene work for us, and I, for one, am excited to leer what the future will bring.