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An iPhone app helps the blind see

By: , IntoMobile
Friday, March 2nd, 2012 at 5:08 PM

A company called NantWorks launched the LookTel Recognizer app, enabling blind or visually impaired users to recognize an object instantly by simply pointing their iPhone camera at it and listening to the phone tell them what it is. Recognition happens in real time, with no need to hold the camera still or take a photo, and the app will identify packaged goods in the pantry or the grocery store, identity cards, CDs in a music collection and many other everyday objects. Moreover, it can identify locations such as the entrance of a home or office and signs above store entrances or restrooms.

In order to make this magic happen, first you need to “train” the app by building your own item database. You do that by capturing an image of an item and recording an audio description, so that next time the item is pointed at it, Recognizer will tell you what it’s all about. Even better, once you build your database, you can export it via email, and seamlessly restore the database from lost or replaced devices.

NantWorks’ patented and proprietary object recognition technology is already used in another application – Money Reader, which helps users with visual impairments or blindness identify and count bills…

LookTel Recognizer ($9.99) [iTunes link]

About The Author

Dusan Belic

Dusan has been using smartphones since their introduction and is now following the latest trends in the industry. The "convergence" is what he's most excited about, and writing about it is the next logical thing to do. He thinks that using a smartphone is what everyone who cares about their time should do. In addition to his interests in mobile phones, Dusan also loves to experiment with the latest web and mobile 2.0 services. The idea of accessing and managing your information from any device no matter where you are simply amazes him. Whether it's an online to-do list, note taking service or a video sharing social network, he's there to try it out. He admits though, he's still searching for the ultimate web-based organizational tool, which "sings" perfectly with the mobile PIM application. Dusan used to run Symbian Watch which later became part of IntoMobile. He lives in Serbia, South-East Europe, from where he edits the site on a daily basis.