Apps and devices for blind and visually impaired people

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We aim to create an useful and extensive list of APPS and DEVICES which can facilitate the life of blind and visually impaired people.
Please write your suggestions experience in the comment box.

Last update: 06 June 2023

APPS
General / Object Recognition

Be My Eyes (iOS) (Android)
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.

Envision AI (iOs) (Android)
Envision empowers people who are blind or have low vision to access everyday visual information for themselves.

NantMobile Money Reader (iOS)
NantMobile Money Reader instantly recognizes currency and speaks the denomination, enabling people experiencing visual impairments or blindness to quickly and easily identify and count bills.

TapTapSee (iOS) (Android)
TapTapSee is a mobile camera application designed specifically for blind and visually impaired users powered by the CloudSight Image Recognition API. The app utilizes the device’s camera and VoiceOver functions to photograph objects and identify them out loud for the user.
In TapTapSee, the user double-taps the device’s screen to photograph any two or three dimensional object at any angle, and have it accurately analyzed and identify within seconds. The device’s VoiceOver then speaks the identification audibly to the user.

Color ID Free (Android)
Color Identifier uses the camera on your iPhone or iPod touch to speak the names of colors in real-time. It’s an Augmented Reality app for discovering the names of the colors around you.

iDentifi (iOS)
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, colour, facial expression, handwriting and text, and subsequently deliver an audible description of the image’s contents to the user.

Seeing AI (iOS)
A free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text and objects

Google Lookout (Android)
ookout uses computer vision to assist people with low vision or blindness get things done faster and more easily. Using your phone’s camera, Lookout makes it easier to get more information about the world around you and do daily tasks more efficiently like sorting mail, putting away groceries, and more.
Built with guidance from the blind and low-vision community, Lookout supports Google’s mission to make the world’s information universally accessible to everyone.
Lookout has five modes for a variety of activities:
• Use Food Labels mode (beta) to quickly identify packaged foods by their label, in addition to scanning barcodes. Available in more than 20 countries.
• Read a whole page of text with Documents mode. Take a snapshot of a document, and Lookout will scan the text, so that it can be read aloud by your screen reader or magnified on your phone.
• Use Text mode to quickly skim text and hear it read aloud — for doing things like sorting mail.
• Use Currency mode to identify banknotes quickly and reliably.
• Explore mode (beta) offers information about objects in your surroundings.
Lookout is available in more than 20 languages, and runs on devices with Android 6 and above, with at least 2GB of RAM.

BeSpecular (iOS) ( Android)
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.

Navilens (Android, iOS)
NaviLens, an app that makes it easier for visual 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.

Travelear (iOS) is an immersive 3D experience for your ears! Enjoy dazzling soundscapes from around the globe captured in world-class 3D binaural audio. Throw on your headphones! and transport yourself

Magnifier

Smart Magnifier (Android)
This app turns your device into a Magnifying Glass with camera zoom, auto-focus and LED flash.

Navigation

Soundscape (iOS)
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.

Intersection Explorer (Android)
Intersection Explorer speaks the layout of the streets and intersections in neighborhoods as you touch and drag your finger around the map. This helps blind and low vision users get an understanding of a neighborhood both before venturing out and while on the go.

BlindSquare (iOS)
BlindSquare is the World’s Most Popular accessible GPS application developed for the blind and visually impaired. It describes the environment, announces points of interest and street intersections as you travel. In conjunction with free, third-party navigation apps it is a powerful solution providing most of the information blind and visually impaired people need to travel independently

Lazarillo GPS for Blind (iOS) (Android)
The intelligent guide application for blind people and visually impaired, who guides you by voice messages in the city

Reading

Google Text-to-Speech (Android)
Google Text-to-speech powers applications to read the text on your screen aloud.

Enabling Text to Speech in iOS
  1. Launch “Settings” and tap on “General”
  2. Scroll down to “Accessibility” and tap on “Speak Selection”
  3. Slide to “ON” and adjust the “Speaking Rate” slider to an appropriate setting.
Cinema

Greta (iOS) (Android)
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 lost (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.

DEVICES

Feelware voice output
The patented Feelware Audio voice output gives the settings of electric cookers as a voice message as soon as the position of the rotary knobs is changed. Furthermore, the system repeats the current setting if desired, so that you are informed about the operating status of your cooker at all times. All that is needed is a tap on the corresponding knob. So you are always well informed about the settings of your household appliance. Cooking comfort and safety has never been so much fun.

Sunu
Using radar and augmented reality, Sunu Band enables people who are low vision and blind to travel with confidence. Advanced haptic feedback guides your way around any obstacle, and navigation sensors connect you to the world that’s around you.

Image result for sunu band

FingerReader 
The technology for reading written text continues to improve and the FingerReader is a good example of a new way of interacting. This MIT Media Labs project is a wearable device, a very chunky ring that sits on the finger and is capable of detecting and interpreting 12-point printed text as the user scans his or her finger across it. It reads aloud in real-time. Small vibrations alert the wearer to any deviation off the line.

Braille ebook reader
This idea first surfaced a few years back as a concept on Yanko Design. Why not create a tactile digital reader device for Braille readers, like a Kindle for the blind? Braille literacy has been in steady decline since the 1960s for various reasons. There’s still a debate raging about the importance of Braille and the potential problems with talking computers after research revealed a link between Braille literacy and employment.

OrCam
OrCam MyEye is an intuitive wearable device with a smart camera that clips onto a regular spectacle frame. It is designed to assist anyone that struggles to read, recognise faces or objects – particularly people who are blind or vision impaired.

eSight 
eSight is worn like a normal pair of glasses. It houses a high-speed, high-definition camera that captures everything you are looking at, and then displays it on two near-to-eye displays.
Advanced, medically-validated algorithms optimize and enhance the footage so that your eyes can truly see it, and in real-time.
eSight’s ability to tilt up and down allows you to always have access to your native peripheral vision. This enables true mobility

NuEyes
NuEyes Pro removable visual prosthetic featuring ODG smart glasses is the first ever lightweight, wireless, head worn device that is voice activated for the visually impaired. Whether you have macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, or other visual conditions NuEyes can help!
NuEyes Pro is a very simple product to use and can be either operated with our wireless controller included with the product or using simple voice commands.

Aira
Using augmented reality, Aira connects people who are blind or low vision to a trained professional agent who is dedicated to further enhancing their everyday experience – completely hands-free assistance at the touch of a button.

iBionics
The iBIONICS Diamond Eye™ works like a Retina A diamond implant, surgically placed at the back of the eye, converts incoming laser light (sent from custom smart video glasses) to electric pulses.

Brite AI Vision 
Turning normal smart glasses into AI smart assistive tech, Brite AI Vision transforms your eyewear, delivering advanced AI capabilities that redefine your perception and interaction with the world around you. With Brite AI Vision, you can explore your surroundings, detect objects, recognize people, read text and more.

Here a very useful page by Dave Chaffey

12 comments from the community

  1. Ciao gianni sono Alessandro,il papà di Marco Antonini,potresti consigliarci quali di questi strumenti potrebbe aiutare Marco nel suo progetto di autonomia e crescita.Magari ci sentiamo telefonicamente e ne parliamo con ilsuo educatore e l’UIC.Mandi e grazie!

  2. my friend has macular degeneration. She listens to audio books, but can’t see the device to find her books. is there not a device that she can speak to get the book to open? Find a new book? Return a book to the library?

  3. we suggest to post this question in Facebook groups like ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE BLIND and so on.
    You would have more answers.
    What we suggest is to use a phone to use the reading app. In fact with the phone you can do everything you need using the voice control

  4. Currently, one of the main barriers to accessing AI vision smart glasses is the cost. Brands such as Orcam or Envision cost thousands of dollars. This puts financial burdens on the users.

    Brite AI Vision turns regular smart glasses into AI smart assistive tech, eliminating the need for expensive specialized devices, and making AI vision accessible to individuals with different budgets.

    I suggest that Brite AI Vision be included in the article when it’s updated.

  5. We’ve just launched three new apps on the Apple and Play Stores to support individuals with visual disabilities. 📱 Check out ‘QR Voice’/’QR Speech’ for reading QR codes aloud, ‘OCR Voice’/’OCR Speech’ for converting and reading any text document using text-to-speech, and ‘Color Voice’/’WhatIsTheColor’ to assist individuals with visual challenges in effortlessly recognizing colors through the device’s camera. With a simple tap on the screen, this intuitive app detects colors in real-time and audibly announces their names, providing an inclusive and accessible experience .

    Empower accessibility today! 👁️📚

    iOS:

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/qr-voice/id6475089346

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ocr-voice/id6475119287

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/color-voice/id6475631589

    Android:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.e7.qrspeech

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.e7company.ocrspeech

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.e7.whatisthecolor

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