Microsoft is giving “eyes” to the visually impaired. The tech company has just released an iOS app called Seeing AI, which combines artificial intelligence technology and a smartphone camera to inform a user about their surrounding.
To use the app, currently available for free only in the U.S., a user just needs to point their iPhone’s camera at a certain person or object. The app will then tell you what the person or the object looks like. The app can also recognize people it’s seen before as well as guesing strangers’ age and emotion.
Additionally, Seeing AI can identify household products by scanning barcodes, read and scan documents and recognize U.S. currency.
A prototype of Seeing AI was introduced in March last year at Microsoft’s Build conference. Saqib Shaikh, who fronted the project, noted that the app doesn’t just perform the basic task of optical character recognition technology, but also directs the user by telling them to move the camera left or right to get the target in shot.
“One of the things we wanted to do was face recognition on device, and we’ve done that so within a few milliseconds you’ll hear the result. It’s all about the speed, and we try to do as much as we can on the device,” he explained to The Verge.
So far, there’s no word on when Seeing AI will be available on Android. Do you think it will be helpful if the app becomes accessible to smartphone users in all countries? Share your opinion in the comment section below!