Phone app allows blind to 'see' the world again | Inquirer Technology

Phone app allows blind to ‘see’ the world again

/ 07:19 PM August 19, 2016

Our smartphones are pretty much miniature computers in our pockets so Aipoly decided to use all that computing power to help the blind see again. Image Aipoly

For all our gadgets and advanced technologies, those of us with eyesight problems still rely on a centuries-old invention, the eyeglasses. And blindness is something that has yet to be cured.

A Melbourne, Australia-based company called Aipoly is attempting to leverage smartphone and AI technology to let the blind perceive the world once again, reports Fast Company.


Its app, available on the Apple App Store, verbalizes objects that it sees through a smartphone’s camera. It allows individuals who have gone blind over time to recover a portion of their lost capacity to perceive the world around them.


The Aipoly app does not require a network connection, so it uses AI called “convolutional neural network” that leverages the computational power of the smartphone’s CPU and graphics chip. It requires this much computing power to be able to immediately identify and verbalize what the camera is seeing to the user.

The current version of the app is capable of recognizing 1,000 objects but the next version may be able to recognize up to 5,000 objects. It will also be less power-hungry and be available to older iPhones as well as Android devices.

Aipoly is also developing a pair of glasses with app that would free up users’ hands and allow them to just move their head to scan the space around them.  Alfred Bayle

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TOPICS: Artificial Intelligence, Blindness, navigation
TAGS: Artificial Intelligence, Blindness, navigation

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