Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Industry | By Dora Warner

Google Lookout App Seeks To Assist The Blind And Visually Impaired

Google Lookout App Seeks To Assist The Blind And Visually Impaired

Google's Lookout app is now available for download, but only in the US, and only for owners of Pixel devices. The app also has a camera view for live recognition. With it, blind or visually impaired users can have their smartphone identify objects or read text to them, using computer vision and Google Lens technologies.

To use Lookout optimally, Google recommended that the user's device be placed on a lanyard around the user's neck or in the front pocket of a shirt.

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Product Manager, Google Accessibility Engineering, Patrick Clary stated, "We designed Lookout to work in situations where people might typically have to ask for help-like learning about a new space for the first time, reading text and documents, and completing daily routines such as cooking, cleaning and shopping". Currently, the app is available for download in Google Play Store but for Pixel device owners in the U.S. only.

In a blog post announcing the launch, Google points out that, once the app is started (which can be done by asking Google's Assistant to "start Lookout") there's no need to tap any further buttons. Once you've opened the Lookout app, all you have to do is keep your phone pointed forward.

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The Lookout app comes with three modes - Explore, Shopping and Quick read.

Google says that the app won't always work with 100 percent accuracy, and that it will continue to develop the app as it gets more feedback from users. In February, the tech giant launched two new apps for Android, Sound Amplifier and Live Transcribe, which are created to "make life a little easier" for those with hearing loss.

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Google Lookout is now available for the Google Pixels smartphones, and only within the US.

Most of what Google has been doing in the AI space for the past couple of years is aimed at making life easier for people who already have it pretty easy. So, what do you think of this new approach by Google for visually impaired?

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