Microsoft Seeing AI's Latest Update Will Help the Blind Identify Indian Currency

Microsoft Seeing AI, a free app designed for the blind and low vision, can now detect Indian currency and narrate the denomination to the user.
Microsoft Seeing AI's Latest Update Will Help the Blind Identify Indian Currency
Image credit: Microsoft
Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

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Technology has the power to make our world better. From ordering food to booking a cab, there is an app for everything. We have grown so dependent that we simply can't think of life without the world of apps.  But who would have thought that mobile apps will make life easier for many blind and visually impaired users? However, the tech giant Microsoft has proved that nothing is impossible. Microsoft Seeing AI, a free app designed for the blind and low vision community, can now detect Indian currency and narrate the denomination to the user.

The latest update to Seeing AI brings new capabilities to the image recognition and narration app. The app identifies all the notes in circulation including the new currency bills issued recently.

Narrates The World Around You:

One of the most common difficulties usually faced by blind people is the recognition of the value of currency notes. Imagine them going to a store and giving money for an item without actually identifying the different denominations. How would they know what they were given is a right amount? Currency bills are particularly challenging to identify, as they come in different sizes and textures, and are often modified by the government. People who are blind or have low vision are known to fold these notes up in different shapes to be able to recognize and use them when needed, though still require means to differentiate denominations. The Microsoft powered app brings this power to the users’ fingertips no matter where they are.

With the latest addition of Indian rupee detection, the app now supports five different currencies, including euros, US and Canadian dollars and British pounds. Seeing AI is currently available on the iOS App Store in 56 countries. Since its launch in July 2017, the app has helped users complete over 5 million tasks unassisted, and has been downloaded by over 150,000 users.

The Talking Camera App:

Designed for users with visual impairment, the free app combines artificial intelligence and rich computer vision to narrate the world around users in real-time. By describing surrounding people, text, objects, colors, and currencies, Seeing AI serves as an example of how inclusive technology empowers people of all abilities.

The app lets users recognize:

  • Text – speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera
  • Documents – provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, and recognizes the text, along with its original formatting
  • Products – scans barcodes, using audio beeps to guide you; hear the name, and package information when available
  • People – allows users to saves friends’ faces in their contact list so they can be recognized later
  • Scenes (early preview) – hear an overall description of the scene captured
  • Images in other apps – just tap “Share” and “Recognize with Seeing AI” to describe images from emails, photos, Twitter and more.

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