Microsoft app lets visually challenged users explore photos by touch

It enables users to tap their finger to an image on a touch-screen to hear a description of objects within an image and the spatial relationship between them.

Published: 13th March 2019 05:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2019 05:27 PM   |  A+A-

Microsoft

Microsoft. (Photo | Reuters)

By IANS

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft has updated its computer vision app for the visually challenged people with an option to explore photos by touching them.

The new feature in the "Seeing AI" iOS app enables users to tap their finger to an image on a touch-screen to hear a description of objects within an image and the spatial relationship between them.

"Users can explore photos of their surroundings taken on the 'Scene' channel, family photos stored in their photo browser, and even images shared on social media by summoning the options menu while in other apps," Saqib Shaikh, Software Engineering Manager and Project Lead for 'Seeing AI', said in a blog-post late Tuesday.

Seeing AI is already helping users read printed text in books, restaurant menus, street signs and handwritten notes, as well as identify banknotes and products via their barcode.

Leveraging on-device facial-recognition technology, the app can even describe the physical appearance of people and predict their mood.

"For the first time we're releasing iPad support, to provide a better 'Seeing AI' experience that accounts for the larger display requirements," Shaikh added.

Since the app's launch in 2017, Seeing AI has leveraged AI technology and inclusive design to help people with more than 10 million tasks.

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