Microsoft app lets users explore photos by touch

Google's Lookout app is finally here

Google's Lookout app is finally

Seeing AI is an app that provides the visually impaired persons with an easier way to understand the world around them through the camera on their smartphone. That could mean photos that have been taken of scenes, photos in a phone's albums or images that appear on social media.

It's similar to the live camera view - which tells the user what is in front of them via their phone camera - a feature that has been part of the app for a while.

The app will now allow users to explore the objects and people in photos through touch. Users can now tap portions of an image to have Seeing AI read a description of the objects they tap, along with their spatial relationship to other objects nearby. For example, the app now offers native iPad support, which could help produce an even better Seeing A.I. experience thanks to the larger display. That could be particularly useful for professionals and academics. Last but not least, the app offers improvements to the channels feature - for example, users can customize the order that channels are shown, which makes it easier to quickly access certain features. The app will also now give audio cues so users know an image is being processed.

"Since the app's launch in 2017, Seeing AI has leveraged AI technology and inclusive design to help people with more than 10 million tasks", said Microsoft. The app essentially uses artificial intelligence to describe what's in a photo, allowing blind and low vision users to get an idea of what an image looks like. The company today said it's now available for people in the USA using Pixel phones running Android 8.0. Google says it will bring the app to more devices, countries, and platforms soon.

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