The project has seen incredible improvements since its first demo which saw the presentation of a prototype by the Deep Vision Hackathon team at Build 2016 and eventually its release on iOS in July of 2017. The seeing AI app formerly known as Deep Vision was birthed from years of research in machine learning and natural language, real life experiences and a goal to present a vivid narration of life and the environment to the visually impaired community.
Today, Microsoft has extended the revolutionary creation to 3 billion people for free with by developing an android version. The capabilities of the Seeing AI are mind blowing as it can perform a slew of daily tasks aimed at making life for visually impaired people a lot easier by painting a picture of the world around them.
WHAT THE SEEING AI CAN DO
- Seeing AI currently supports 18 languages with plans to move that number up to 36 languages by next year.
- It provides a summary of photos and a description of scenery which can go into deeper detail by clicking the “more info” prompt.
- Seeing AI is capable of scanning and reading documents out loud or providing a summary of an article of publication, in addition to that, you can ask seeing AI questions about a document, menu or receipt.
Other exciting key features of the Seeing AI include:
- Identifying currency and denominations
- Identifying people around you
- Describing colors of objects
- Translating handwritten texts to speech
- Scanning barcodes to offer description of products or items
- Responds to brightness of surroundings by generating an audible tone
The general concept of the Seeing AI and its successful creation represent huge advancements in science and machine learning that is guaranteed to provide a better quality and experience of life to the low/zero vision community of people, an interesting fact about this innovation is that individuals who have a first hand experience of the difficulties of navigating life while visually impaired were major contributors to its creation.
“It is not that people who can’t see can’t do things and have to use technology. People who can’t see do a ton of things and are incredibly independent. Technology can make life a whole lot more fun and exciting and personal for them. So it’s not just about fixing a problem; it’s about helping enhance the experience for someone who cannot see,” said Deep Vision teammate Mary Bellard and member of CELA Accessibility team.
Seeing AI app is now available for free download for Android on google play store as well as the flagship iOS version.