With more than 253 million blind or visually impaired people around the world, it’s only right that the apps that will help them manage their world should also start trickling into the market. We’ve seen a few apps that are specifically made for them and now it’s Google’s turn to launch one. Their newest app called Lookout will be available later this year but they took the time to make an official announcement at the ongoing I/O conference. The app is to help them become more independent by giving auditory cues for their environment.
For the app to work, the user is recommended to wear their smartphone around the neck (with a lanyard) or in a shirt pocket. The camera should be pointing away from the body so it can process the items in the environment and also share relevant information that will be delivered through spoken notifications. You can choose from four modes: Home, Work & Play, Scan, or Experimental. The last one is for those who are willing to test out new features that Google will be working on.
The Home mode will help the visually impaired do chores around the house as it can tell you where the couch, table, or dishwasher is placed so you can maneuver around them. Work & Play helps you when you’re going to the office by telling you when you’re next to an elevator or stairwell or any obstruction you might find on your way. The Scan mode creates a snapshot of any text and then read it back to the users.
Since Lookout relies on machine learning, the more you use it, the better results it can give you. It is expected to arrive at Google Play Stores later this year.
May 9, 2018 at 06:03PM