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Google Introduces AI-based Lookout App for Visually Impaired



Google, last year at its I/O event had announced its new app called – Lookout for visually impaired. The app was designed for the visually challenged people and was based on Google’s machine learning algorithms. Well, the Lookout app is now official, at least for some. The Mountain View-based tech giant has made this Lookout app available for Pixel users (for the US only) in the Google Play Store. Google states that with the new Lookout app, it plans to provide their AI and Machine Learning capabilities to the nearly 253 million visually impaired or blind people globally.

To achieve that through the Lookout app, Google had incorporated its prominent features from the Google Lens app and had tweaked it so that it can let visually impaired users search and know about the objects around them by positioning the phone’s camera accordingly. The company states the app had been designed to help people who are blind or partially blind or somewhat visually impaired, wherein pointing the phone’s camera can make them understand about a new space for the first time or can allow them to read text and documents by giving spoken words feedback.

The Lookout app comes with three modes – Explore, Shopping and Quick read. As the mode name suggests, the Explore mode helps in learning new spaces like where a chair is placed inside a room or what kind of pet is blocking their way and so on. The Shopping mode allows visually-impaired users to head over to shopping malls or grocery stores and pointing the phone towards a product or its barcode will help users identify the product they are holding. The Quick read mode allows people to quickly read out the texts or documents available by pointing out the phone’s camera. Do note, to make Lookout app do these things seamlessly; Google recommends users to hold or hang their Pixel device on their neck or place it in a shirt’s pocket – camera pointing outwards.

Bear in mind, since this is a new technology developed by Google, the results would not be 100-percent accurate; however, there’s a room for improvement since Google is allowing users to share their feedback by contacting their Disability support team. Currently, the app is available for download in Google Play Store but for Pixel device owners in the US only. The company had also stated its plans to bring out to more devices, countries and other platforms as well. So, what do you think of this new approach by Google for visually impaired? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and also stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more such interesting updates.


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