[tabi] artifitial vision recognition for smart phones coming soon

  • From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 19:19:24 -0400

below is an article posted on the visually impaired computer users group:

Technology - LookTel: The Future of Mobile Accessibility

LookTel is a company whose aim is to sell software than can be downloaded
onto mobile devices, making them completely accessible to the visually
impaired in ways that are truly incredible.

The software they've designed will be tethered with camera enabled smart
phones and features artificial sight programs used to identify objects and
landmarks. For example, by pointing the phone's camera at a can of peas, the
phone will speak aloud to its user, "Peas." If you move the phone to the
next can which happens to be corn, the phone will say, "Corn." Beyond that,
you can actually create custom labels for the software to recognize. So if
you have a Tupperware container of salad in your fridge, you can stick a
unique label onto it and teach the phone that that label means salad.
Whenever it sees that label, it will say, "Salad." It can also recognize
every denomination of US currency.

Another feature is that the software will be able to recognize landmarks,
namely street signs and storefronts, to help the user navigate. It even goes
so far as allowing the user to access assistance if they need it. By using
the GPS imbedded in most smart phones, the user could connect to someone
else, transmit live video of where they are, and the other person could see
what the phone sees, as well as their location on a map, and guide them to
their intended destination.
This feature gives added comfort to those who may be able to navigate most
places with ease, but will require help from time to time.

The software also incorporates a text-to-speech feature, allowing the user
to take a picture of any text and listen to the phone read it back to them.
Beyond that, it makes touch screens entirely accessible by using a different
operating system that gives spoken feedback and relies on easy to remember
pattern placement of common phone functions.

This is a huge step forward in accessible mobile technology that can
literally open up the world to people with visual impairment. The software
is being released in spring of this year as a beta test, and will most
likely be available for purchase late this year. It will be compatible with
every major US cell phone carrier.

To read more about the LookTel software, go to http://www.looktel.com/

Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI
and please make suggestions for new material.

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