Google's Lookout app aid blind people about environs

Yolanda Curtis
March 15, 2019

Google also said that the app will be available for more devices, countries and platforms very soon. The app was designed for the visually challenged people and was based on Google's machine learning algorithms. The Shopping mode allows visually-impaired users to head over to shopping malls or grocery stores and pointing the phone towards a product or its barcode will help users identify the product they are holding. Google says that it has been working on the app since it was unveiled a year ago. Once a mode is selected, the app detects what and where objects are in the real world. If Google Lens can identify a dog's breed from a photo, there's nothing stopping it from using the same tech to help visually-impaired people, and that's where Lookout comes in.


Lookout works by telling wearers - Google recommends that users either place their device in a shirt's front pocket or wear it around their necks via a lanyard - about "people, text, objects and much more as you move through a space". The company states the app had been created to help people who are blind or partially blind or somewhat visually impaired, wherein pointing the phone's camera can make them understand about a new space for the first time or can allow them to read text and documents by giving spoken words feedback.


"As with any new technology, Lookout will not always be 100 percent ideal", Clary said. The app will use spoken words to alert the users on the whereabouts of the objects.


As the app uses artificial intelligence to determine the surroundings of the user, Clary says "Lookout will not always be 100 percent perfect", and that the app "detects items in the scene and takes a best guess at what they are, reporting this to you". It has three modes: one to help explore the world and assist with cooking, one while shopping for reading barcodes and seeing currency, and the last for reading pieces of text on mail, signs, labels, and more.

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