Microsoft has released a free iOS camera app – called Seeing AI – that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tell the visually challenged what is around them.
If the phone is pointed at a park, the Seeing AI an describe how the scene looks like. The app is now available on App Store.
Similarly, it can tell the amount of your restaurant 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 of its app designed to turn the “visual world into an audible experience”.
The company adds that users will also be able to “recognise and locate the faces of people you’re with, as well as facial characteristics, approximate age, emotion, and more.”
Visually challenged people will also be able to quickly read text by pointing Seeing AI camera app at text, with short snippets being read out and audio guidance being provided on how to capture full documents. It also gives audio beeps to help locate barcodes and then scans them to identify products. An upcoming feature is the ability to identify currency bills.
Microsoft describes 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”.
But Microsoft is not alone in tackling this problem. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are working on similar projects, CNET reported on Wednesday.
This is also the latest project from Microsoft built using its artificial intelligence technology.