Some amazing AI technology has become available to assist the blind and visually impaired. Here’s the thing. It is not so easy for blind people to Google and find these aides. Moreover, there are many different levels of visual impairment and out of the options displayed below, some may be more suited to one individual than others. If you haven’t heard of it: Google Be My Eyes and find out how you can be of assistance to visually impaired and blind people in a massive way with very little effort.
We can also be of great help to the blind and visually impaired by making them aware of the technologies listed below.
Be My Eyes
Be my eyes is a free app that connect blind and low vision people with sighted volunteers for visual assistance through a live video call. Every day, sighted volunteers lend their eyes to solve tasks big and small to help blind and low-vision people lead more independent lives.
Dancing Dots offers technology, educational resources and training to assist blind and low vision individuals to read, write, and record their music. The products and services foster inclusion, literacy and independence for visually impaired musicians and audio producers engaged in educational, leisure, and professional pursuits. With our Lime Lighter, low vision performers can read magnified print music up to 10 times standard size hands-free. Sighted people who can read print music can scan and edit scores and convert them to the equivalent Braille notation with our GOODFEEL® Braille Music Translator. These sighted copyists need not necessarily know Braille.
The ELIA Frames™ font is designed for maximum tactile discrimination by people who have a visual impairment. It is so easy to learn that it can be studied and applied in as little as 2 hours. And because ELIA Frames™ is based on the standard Roman alphabet, it can be read visually by those with full sight (teachers, caregivers or co-workers).
“The ELIA Frames™ reading system is designed to be understood by touch for those with a visual impairment, but also visually by people who have full sight. This creates a common means of communication, allowing people to share ideas seamlessly.
— Kieran Antill, ELIA Design Director
Seeing AI is a free app developed by Microsoft that narrates the world around you. Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text
Dragon by Nuance, is speech recognition software which lets you dictate documents, search the web, email and more on your computer — quickly and accurately — just by using your voice. From making status updates and searching the web to creating reports and spreadsheets, Dragon speech recognition solutions let you do it all—faster and more efficiently—whether you’re a student, a professional, or an enterprise user.
eSight eyewear is an innovative, wearable, electronic assistive technology designed specifically for people with low vision. It’s a high-tech eyewear device that enhances whatever the user is looking at to maximise the effectiveness of your remaining eyesight.
Stridelight is a low vision aid, combining “bright clear lighting and walking support”. This cane for the blind can address a rampant problem of falls in the elderly. Fall prevention contributes directly to maintaining independence. The obvious contribution is maintaining mobility by avoiding broken bones. Secondly, this well-designed cane reduces a fear factor.
OrCam is a unique wearable device which consists of a tiny, yet powerful 8mp smart camera that is clipped onto glasses, and it is connected to a very small computer (the size of sunglasses case), that assists the visually impaired in reading text (such as newspapers or books), recognising packaged goods, and even recognising faces, by translating the text and images into audio, and whispering the information in their ear.
Wear.Works is developing a haptic wristband, primarily for outdoor use, including marathons. Haptic feedback helps a user stay in a virtual corridor without assistance.
Haptics are increasingly being embedded in all sorts of technology for people who are blind or visually-impaired. Haptics is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interaction with computer applications. One familiar example is when your phone is set on vibrate.
Sound Scape App
Microsoft has launched an app which can help map the world for blind and visually impaired people, giving directions, describing the local area and guiding them from place to place.
The Soundscape app lets users set a beacon at their destination and then sets off 3D spatial audio cues to give the user awareness of what is around them. It connects to global map services to describe places of interest or street names.