[tabi] [VICUG-L] Information about LookTelFW:

  • From: "Lynn Evans" <evans-lynn@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2010 15:50:12 -0400

From: thisismichael@xxxxxxx [mailto:thisismichael@xxxxxxx] 
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2010 11:02 AM
To: Cathy McAdam



      My bus buddy who is a fully sighted techie at GM, but very forward 
thinking about tech for the disabled, forwarded the following information on 
what sounds really interesting to me.  Check it out.




      Michael Patten
      1758 Manchester Blvd
      Grosse Pte Woods, MI 48236-1920
      thisismichael@xxxxxxx home
      mpatten@xxxxxxxxxxxx work


      Mobile App Helps the Visually Impaired 'See'

      The ability to recognize everyday objects is something most people take 
for granted; for the world's more than 300 million visually impaired, however, 
it can be a struggle. LookTel is a mobile app designed to help those people 

      Developed by California-based Ipplex in partnership with LinkMe Mobile, 
LookTel combines real-time object recognition technology with optical character 
recognition capabilities. Visually impaired users simply point their 
app-enabled phone's camera at whatever it is they want to identify, and it will 
pronounce the object's name quickly in clear, easy-to-understand speech. Money, 
packaged goods, CDs and medication bottles are all likely candidates, Ipplex 
notes, but the technology can be taught to recognize a wide variety of other 
objects as well by attaching one of the app's preprinted image tags to them and 
recording an audible description. LookTel can also help recognize signs and 
landmarks for personal navigation. Using photos, video, push-to-talk audio and 
GPS tracking data sent from the phone, friends and family can help identify 
objects or signs, use mapping for further information, and even provide 
turn-by-turn directions. A video demonstrates the technology in action.


      Developed under sponsorship from the National Institutes of Health, 
LookTel also incorporates a text reader for access to print media. The 
technology runs on Windows Mobile smartphones, with recognition software 
running on a corresponding PC. LookTel was recently awarded first place at the 
2010 CTIA E-Tech Awards for Mobile Applications in the Healthcare category. The 
technology is due to launch into beta this spring; pricing has not yet been 


      There are myriad technologies out there to help the visually impaired 
but, as Engadget points out, few have yet made it to the smartphone 
arena-which, it seems to us, is where much of the real potential lies to 
increase independence. 


      Website: www.looktel.com

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