With technology improving every day, Low vision aids can be as close as your smartphone. The staff at Inland retina has selected the best apps from among the most innovative ones.
Be My Eyes is an app that connects visually impaired people with sighted volunteers who provide virtual assistance through a live video call. Be My Eyes is available in 180 languages.
Aipoly Vision utilizes artificial intelligence to help low-vision people better understand what’s around them. Users point the app at an object and simply press a recognition button.
Audible provides a wide selection of audible books, including recent popular titles, classics, and academic text.
Using the BeSpecular app, the visually impaired person takes a photo of what he or she needs help with and attaches a voice message. The visually impaired person’s photo & question are sent to our BeSpecular community of sighted. Those sighted who are available can reply to the visually impaired person via the BeSpecular app with a voice or text message. Within minutes, a visually impaired person receives a reply and then rates out of 5 stars the helpfulness of the sighted.
Blind Bargains assists the visually impaired community by providing the latest deals in one place. Users can purchase Braille printers, screen readers, and other accessible products.
Blind Square is a highly accessible GPS app designed for the visually impaired. It describes the surrounding terrain and announces street intersections.
Digit Eyes was created with the visually impaired shopper in mind. This app reads a manufacturer’s barcode and audibly the name of the product. Users can also record their own labels for household items.
Envision is a smartphone app that empowers blind and low vision users to be independent by speaking out the visual world around them. Read all kinds of text. Know what’s around you. Find what you’re looking for.
iDentifi is an app that allows for visually impaired individuals to gain more independence in daily tasks like grocery shopping, self-navigating in indoor environments, and reading. It uses artificial intelligence to enable a visually impaired user to click a photo and is able to recognize virtually any object, brand, color, facial expression, handwriting, and text, and subsequently deliver an audible description of the image’s contents to the user.
Greta is an app that enables people with sight or hearing loss to experience fully accessible cinema. It also includes foreign language subtitles and audio versions for an international audience. Greta is a special app: it plays the existing audio description (AD) or subtitles for hard-of-hearing individuals and people with hearing loss (SDH) at any time, place, or screening – in indoor and outdoor cinemas, at home, at school, etc. – simply, using one’s own smart device. Greta whispers audio descriptions or plays subtitles.
Lazzus: blind GPS assistant
Lazzus is an accessible application for mobile devices, designed for blind and visual impaired people, which allows to obtain in real-time the points of interest within the visual field of each user among other functions like:
- Knowing your current location (Street & number).
- Adding favorite places.
- Browse a nearby places list.
NaviLens, an app that makes it easier for visually impaired people to access information through QR codes of colors, has a new functionality available for users to download tags for their own personal use. Until now these tags were available in public spaces such as train stations. In this new functionality, the codes provided are blank for users to record any information about the objects in their environment. The developers have created tags of different sizes that can be adjusted to the needs of remote reading. In addition, they are printable and easily separated.
Seeing AI can “see” and describe the world around you, including short text, documents, products, currency, colors, and environmental scenes. The app can even read handwriting—sticky notes or a sweet missive from someone you love. Here’s a little known fact: the post office has been using the same kind of technology for years to scan and direct mail quickly—a great example of existing technology being leveraged to support those living with vision issues.
Microsoft Soundscape is a research project that explores the use of innovative audio-based technology to enable people, particularly those with blindness or low vision, to build a richer awareness of their surroundings, thus becoming more confident and empowered to get around. Unlike step-by-step navigation apps, Soundscape uses 3D audio cues to enrich ambient awareness and provide a new way to relate to the environment. It allows you to build a mental map and make personal route choices while being more comfortable within unfamiliar spaces.
The mobile app uses the Smartphones’s camera to take pictures of objects or people and then uses the back-end cognitive services to provide a description. The desktop app can provide a description of the content of pictures from any available document library, and if the picture contains a known contact, the app will identify them by name. ViaOpta Hello is available in twelve languages including English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian and Hungarian.
The WayAround app features a tag-and-scan functionality that lets smartphones read a tag you might add to anything in your environment. For example, you can tag the clothes in your closet with descriptions and color information. Your phone both creates and reads the tag descriptions. You can order the postage sized tags at the WayAround website, and your Apple or Android phone does the rest of the work.
ThirdEye restores autonomy to visually impaired persons’ lives by enabling them to recognize everyday objects. All the user has to do is touch one button and our technology verbally returns back whatever object the user is looking at within seconds (for example a “5 US Dollar Bill” or an “Ibuprofen bottle”).