[NFBWATLK] Article: Microsoft's new, free iPhone app helps the blind see , Seattle Times, July 12, 2017

Mary ellen gabias at telus.net
Thu Jul 20 20:25:38 UTC 2017

Has anybody tried this?  I downloaded it and tried to get it to read text
with very limited results.  I could not get it to recognize short text on
the fly, but it did read part of a page of text.  I compared it with KNFB
Reader using a portable stand for both apps.  The KNFB Reader vastly
outperformed Seeing AI.  However, one attempt does not a sufficient trial
make, so I'll play with it some more.  I'd appreciate tips from someone
who's had more success.

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Nightingale, Noel via NFBWATLK
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2017 11:29 AM
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Subject: [NFBWATLK] Article: Microsoft's new, free iPhone app helps the
blind see , Seattle Times, July 12, 2017


Microsoft's new, free iPhone app helps the blind see

Seattle Times

July 12, 2017

By Matt Day

Microsoft on Wednesday released a smartphone application far more ambitious
than its bread and butter Office software: an effort to help the blind see.

The free Seeing AI app, available for iOS, can read out short snippets of
text, describe people, identify products and currency denominations, and
take a stab at identifying the objects in a person's surroundings.

The app relies on the iPhone camera, backed by Microsoft's machine-learning
and image-recognition algorithms. The company didn't say whether a version
would be released for Android phones.

Seeing AI takes its name from the Microsoft research project that developed
the tool. The Redmond company revealed the effort last year at its Build
developer show, demonstrating how a more-developed version might help Saqib
Shaikh, a Microsoft engineer on the team who lost his sight at age 7.

The app is available in the U.S., Canada, India, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Seeing AI joins a small group of apps designed to help visually impaired
people. Most others are aimed at a single task, like identifying a color or
reading text aloud.

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