The Seeing AI iOS app (free) developed by Microsoft brought a variety of object recognition tools to mobile devices. The first version offered text and object recognition via text to speech. Although not perfect, the Seeing AI app provides remarkable accuracy for general object recognition (use for medical purposes or for tasks reliant on personal safety is not recommended). Recent updates in Seeing AI version 2.0.1 now includes the following additional object recognition tools:
- Currency (US, Canadian, British Pounds, Euros).
- Light – Detections of how much light is in the environment
- Color Recognition
- Handwriting – Recognizing handwritten text
Other features in the recent 2.0.1 update include:
- Documents are read aloud with highlighting without use of VoiceOver (VO)
- Tools selected are spoke aloud
- Adjust voice type and rate without use of VO
- Allows choice of what tools are assigned 3D touch recognition
- Recognizes images in other apps using “recognize images” in mail, Twitter, photos
The changes not only provide additional tools for object recognition but provide instant access to text without turn VO on. Although VO is an extremely helpful tool, managing its verbosity and turning it on and off can be difficult for some individuals.
The Seeing AI iOS app 2.0.1 current features list now includes:
- Short text – reads short text as soon as it is in front of the camera
- Document – Provides audio guidance to capture a document and read the text
- Scans barcodes – Read contents aloud using bar codes (name and product information)
- People – Scans peoples faces, gives then an estimate of gender, age and emotion
- Scene- Provides an overview of the scene captured
- Currency – Identifies currency note
- Color – Identifies color
- Handwriting – Recognizes handwriting like in greeting cards
- Light – Detects the amount of light in the environment. Provides audible tone relative to the amount of light
- Images in other apps – Tap “Share” and Recognize with Seeing AI” to describe images from Mail, Photos, Twitter and more
Seeing AI app has been upgraded multiple times in the past months with remarkable new, promising features for individuals with visual, learning or cognitive disabilities. Providing instant text, object recognition and product information is a boon for not only individuals with visual impairment, but also those clients with a significant reading disability or a cognitive disability who just can not crack the code of reading. print For individuals such as some students with autism or those with visual impairment, facial recognition may help them navigate social situations. It is exciting to see the outcomes of these new development projects offered in ubiquitous apps (much less free) that have direct application to improving functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities!
If you haven’t checked it out, here is a link to more information about each of the features: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/seeing-ai/ . This app is only available for iOS (iPhone/iPad).
So many tools are getting smarter and more functional – offering you more for your OT eToolkit!