Version 2.0 of Seeing Ai, the app which Microsoft released earlier this year and which has now been downloaded over 100000 times, was released today. In addition to now being available in 35 countries, version 2.0 of the app has introduced a number of new features likely to be of interest to blind and visually impaired users.
According to Microsoft, some of the new features include:
- Color recognition: The app can now be used to determine the color of objects in its field of view, including clothing in a closet or fernature in the home.
- Recognizing currency: Tired of having bills of indeterminet denomination floating around your wallet? Seeing Ai can now recognize US dollars, Canadian dollars, British Pounds and Euros.
- Musical light detector: No more need to wonder whether you left the lights on. Pointing Seeing Ai at light now produces a musical tone which signifies the presence of lights around the house. It can apparently work on lights even as small as those found on a battery pack.
- Handwriting recognition: In addition to being able to process and OCR printed documents, Seeing AI can now also read hand written text aloud. This is a particularly timely feature for anyone who's relatives still send printed holiday cards.
- Document reading: Seeing AI can now read documents aloud even if VoiceOver is off. The built-in voice rate is easily adjustable. For low vision users, the spoken words will be highlighted, and text size is also configurable for best results.
Feel free to comment with your experience using this new update, and email any feedback to email@example.comSource: Microsoft Accessibility Blog
So basically, they've just allowed me to take my OCR folder and replace it with one app? Nice. So far it does seem to work, even the handwriting recognition which, while not perfect, does well enough and is a major door-opener for us. I wish everything coming out of Microsoft was this awesome. I really liked Seeing AI before, and it's even better now. Now Microsoft, if you could just concentrate on real improvements like this in your other products...
M&G Monday, 18-Dec-2017 12:46 PM ET:
The updates were worth the wait. Cleaned up my home screen by being able to replace a number of apps with this new upgrade. Currency and colour feature works more consistently than other apps. The ability to rad hand writing, and therefore Christmas cards sent is a great feature. Keep it coming Microsoft.
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Tangela Mahaffey is a barely reformed English Major currently residing in Colorado. She reads entirely too many fantasy books and takes almost nothing seriously, including herself. She loves technology, music, writing, puns, and cats. She can be reached on twitter @tmmahaff