July 14, 2017: Microsoft has released a free iPhone app named Seeing AI, that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tell the blind what is around them. The application can describe how the scene looks like when pointed at the park. Likewise, it can tell the amount in your bill or narrate just about anything it is pointed at.
“With this intelligent camera app, just hold up your phone and hear information about the world around you,” Microsoft said. It aims to turn the “visual world into an emphatic experience.
The app recognises people that it has seen before and even their facial expression to tell how the person is feeling. Additionally, it can also scan barcodes, read US currency and read handwritten documents. It tells you to move your camera if needed for a better view.
Microsoft calls Seeing AI as “a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text and objects”. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are working on similar projects, as reported by CNET on Wednesday.
The app is also the latest project from Microsoft built using its artificial intelligence technology. The company also wants to use Artificial Intelligence to handle some of the major problems in healthcare, as visible with its Healthcare NExT initiative and a prototype wearable that helped a woman with tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease.
Seeing AI app is now available to download for free on iOS, but only in the US. There is no statement yet on whether the app will come to other mobile platforms like Android, Windows 10 Mobile or other countries.
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