Seeing AI is a new app by Microsoft which narrates the world around a user. Built for people with visual impairment, the app utilizes artificial intelligence to recognize and narrate what it sees. The app can recognize people, text, documents, currency, products, scenes as well as content from other apps. The user just needs to point the app at anything and the app will describe it to the user. The app is a great example of useful experiences that harness the power of artificial intelligence. The app can recognize the following:
- People, their age and appearance as well as their emotions. It can even recognize the user’s friends.
- Short text as soon as it appears in front of the camera. The app reads out the text to the user.
- Documents, their text and formatting. It can help the user understand what type of document it is.
- Currency bills and their amount. The feature is demoed in the promotional video but Microsoft says that it is coming soon to the app.
- Products can be recognized by scanning their bardcodes. The app can also read out additional product details.
- Scenes and handwriting are experimental features. Take a picture with Seeing AI, and the app will attempt to recognize the scene it sees or read out the handwriting.
- Images from other apps. Users can share images from other apps like Twitter and WhatsApp, using the iOS share menu, with Seeing AI. The app will read out and explain everything in the image including text, people and objects.
The app works really well and it is great to see AI being used for accessibility purposes. We have already seen other mainstream applications of AI like Not Hotdog and in personal assistants like Siri, Cortana and Alexa. This app has potential to put the focus on using new technologies to help improve people’s lives who experience disabilities. Outstanding work by Microsoft!
Seeing AI is available for free, for iPhone only.
Download Seeing AI from App Store