August 12

Accessible mobile apps for the blind

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It’s important for blind people to be independent, and fortunately there is some apps to make our life’s more accessible and independent. In this post I’m going to outline some of the applications which I use to make my life much easier. The price, description and download links to each app will be provided.

Braigo – Accessibility Companion by Braigo Labs Inc

Price

Free

Description

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Braigo – Accessibility Companion
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Ever wanted someone to read the text within an image for you? Start using “Braigo – Accessibility Companion” which is an easy-to-use app that reads the text from an image and narrates in the form of an audio. Yes, you heard it right! It is a translator to translate images or documents to textual audio using the accessibility features on your iOS devices.
“Braigo – Accessibility Companion” app is committed to making your life easy and hence, we are making technology accessible through design for all. As a community, we are working towards making our society inclusive. The image file or document in the Braigo App can be uploaded in multiple ways. In case of an image file, you will get the description of the visual elements as well. You can either upload an image using the camera of your iPhone or iPad or the gallery option.
Still thinking of situations when the Braigo app can be useful for you? Yes, it can be useful for visually impaired. Here are some other situations –

  1. You are at a restaurant and the food menu is a readable printed copy. With the upload via camera option on the Braigo app, you can take the picture of the menu, extract the text and read out the same to you to help you decide the menu.
  2. Your friend shares a picture on their social media timeline. You can use the Braigo app to extract the textual description of the image and find out what the image is about.
  3. Braigo app can be useful for visually impaired to understand road signs and messages. They can also use it to read newspaper or other documents.

The Braigo app is also building a community where users can upload their documents and make it public so that other community members can access the same. In the same way, you can browse through documents shared by other community members.
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Version 1.0 APP FEATURES
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Here are features of the “Braigo – Accessibility Companion” that make it unique compared to other apps

  1. Easily upload images from photos or take live pictures from your camera for the app to give you image description automatically. The voice over functionality will read it back to you.
  2. You can choose to upload documents from dropbox to do automatic language identification and OCR, it supports a broad set of languages.
  3. Access publicly shared documents from other community members in the library or share your own documents for public access
  4. Subscribe to different news channels through RSS Feeds based on your interests to get updates of latest news and happenings and have the voice over read it back to you.
  5. If you need help, contact us without leaving the app and we will send you a message back to you.
  6. Analyzing images is easy for users. For example, within the Photos app you can share with Braigo without having to open the app. And instantly get Braigo work for you.
  7. You can take your content of the Braigo App and also access them on any browser of your computer. Your account is synced between mobile and computing devices.
  8. The app is accessibility enabled. Which means when you use the voice-over on your Phone or iPad you will be able to hear the voice commands.
  9. Supports iOS 9+ for iPhone and iPad

So, what are you waiting for? Just download this amazing Braigo app and experience a brand new generation of apps to help you read textual description of images or documents.
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SAY HELLO
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We are constantly working hard in making the “Braigo – Accessibility Companion” app better and more useful for you. We need your constant support to get going. Please feel free to contact us for any queries/suggestions/problems or if you just want to say “Hi”. We would love to hear from you. If you have enjoyed any feature of the “Braigo – Accessibility Companion” app, do rate us on play store and share with your friends.
For more information: www.braigolabs.com

Download links

TapTapSee by Cloudsight, Inc

Price

Free

Description

TapTapSee – powered by CloudSight.ai Image Recognition API
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TapTapSee is designed to help the blind and visually impaired identify objects they encounter in their everyday lives.
Simply tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture. TapTapSee can photograph any two or three-dimensional object at any angle and speak the identification back to the user (Note: Spoken identification requires VoiceOver to be turned on).
TapTapSee helps blind and visually impaired users become more independent in their day-to-day activities.
TapTapSee has garnered multiple podcasts, reviews, as well as positive feedback within the community:

  • American Foundation for the Blind 2014 Access Award Recipient ●
  • Named App of the Month by RNIB in March, 2013 ●
  • Inductee of AppleVis iOS Hall of Fame ●

FEATURES

  • Picture recognition
  • Ability to repeat the last identification
  • Upload pictures from the camera roll
  • Save pictures to the camera roll with attached definition
  • Share results via text, email, or social media
  • Rotor reader
  • Barcode and QR code reader
  • Auto-focus notification
  • Flash toggle
  • FOLLOW on Twitter @TapTapSee or LIKE on Facebook.com/TapTapSeeApp
    ABOUT THE COMPANY
    CloudSight, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based tech company that specializes in image captioning and understanding. CloudSight delivers the most superior and state-of-the-art solution to people and companies around the world.

    Download links

    Seeing AI by Microsoft Corporation

    Price

    Free

    Description

    Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects.
    Optimized for use with VoiceOver, the app enables you to recognize:

    • Short Text – Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera.
    • Documents – Provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, and recognizes the text, along with its original formatting.
    • Products – Scans barcodes, using audio beeps to guide you; hear the name, and package information when available. (works with iPhone 6 and later)
    • People – Saves people’s faces so you can recognize them, and get an estimate of their age, gender, and emotions.
    • Scenes (early preview) – Hear an overall description of the scene captured.
    • Currency – Recognizes currency notes. (Requires iOS 11)
    • Color – Identifies color.
    • Handwriting – Reads handwritten text like in greeting cards
    • Light – Generates an audible tone corresponding to the brightness in the surroundings.
    • Images in other apps – Just tap “Share” and “Recognize with Seeing AI” to describe images from Mail, Photos, Twitter, and more.
    • Photo browsing experience – Describes photos on your phone

    Seeing AI is built to help you achieve more by leveraging the power of the cloud and artificial intelligence. As the research progresses, more channels may be added.
    Check out tutorials with this YouTube playlist: http://aka.ms/SeeingAIPlaylist
    Visit http://SeeingAI.com for more details
    Recently honored by American Council of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind's Helen Keller Achievement Award, CES Asia, Mobile World Congress, FCC Chairman's Awards for Advancements in Accessibility and AppleVis Hall of Fame.
    Available in 70 countries including Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, European Union, Ghana, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, USA, UK and Zimbabwe. Gradually coming to more countries.
    Languages supported – English
    Questions, feedback or feature requests? Email us at seeingai@microsoft.com.

    Download links

    BeSpecular – Help The Blind by BeSpecular LTD

    Price

    Free

    Description

    BeSpecular is the best way to do a good deed so that even when you have a busy schedule, you can help someone who’s blind. As a blind/visually impaired person, you can ask text/voice questions and receive quick replies that are friendly and helpful.
    Do you want to help/volunteer in your community, but you don’t have the time?
    Helping your community should be simple, convenient, and fun.
    Now you can help someone who’s blind by using your smartphone. You can spend a few seconds listening to the question, look at the picture(s), and reply with a friendly voice note or text message.
    You can:

    • Use your eyes and intuition which no computer can replace,
    • Help blind or visually impaired people from around the world,
    • Learn what it’s like to live blind,
    • Do a good deed and feel amazing,
    • Make a real contribution to someone else’s life.

    Are you blind or visually impaired & need that extra little bit of help?
    You should be able to conveniently ask your questions and know that someone who’s sighted will happily and quickly be able to help.
    Now you’re able to personalize your questions to find out exactly what you’re looking for. You can upload or take photos and ask with a voice/text message. You’ll receive as many friendly and helpful replies as you need.
    You can:

    • Ask your question and receive your reply shortly,
    • Use the app in various situations, e.g. getting more detailed descriptions of items you’d like to buy online, read the ad insert you found in the mail, understand what’s going on with your computer when your Screen Reader won’t work, re-live memories with beautiful descriptions of your photographs, etc,
    • Remain on a first-name basis and not have to reveal any personal info,
    • Ask as many questions as often as you’d like

    Download links

    Talking Tuner by HotPaw Productions

    Price

    R14.99 (USD $0.99)

    Description

    HotPaw Talking Tuner is a hands-off, sound-activated, talking, chromatic, musical instrument tuner. It talks to tell you if your instrument is in tune or not; so you don't even have to look at it or touch the display. Talking Tuner uses speech synthesis, and works with or without VoiceOver being enabled.
    This app was created because I received a request to develop an iPhone app which could help a vision-challenged individual tune their musical instrument. This app is the result.
    With the Auto-Speak switch turned on, Talking Tuner will listen for a note to be played, and then, after waiting for the end of the sound (so as not to talk over it), will speak the note name, and how many cents sharp or flat the end of the note is estimated to be.
    Using headphones may help make it easier to hear what this app is saying while tuning. Make sure to turn the volume up high enough to hear it.
    The pitch estimation algorithm works best for notes between 2 octaves below Middle-C to 2 octaves above Middle-C. It may not work as well for very low notes, very high notes, or with any background noise, harmony, or accompaniment present. The default tuning resolution is about +- 3 cents (3/100ths of the pitch difference between semitones). Optional higher resolution tuning settings may result in a slower tuning response.

    Download links

    KNFB Reader by Sensotec nv

    Price

    • iOS: R1499 (USD $99.99)
    • Android: Free trial with 25 documents scans then in app products purchase of R1749.99 (USD $99.99)

    Description

    KNFB Reader gives you instant access to print anytime and anywhere.
    KNFB Reader 3.0 is a rapid and efficient text recognition app. Its text-to-speech, text-to-Braille, and text highlighting tools make it valuable for blind, low-vision, dyslexic, and others with reading differences.
    Use it to import or take a photo of anything containing text. Take a photo and the app reads text out loud or displays it on a connected refreshable Braille display. Read with more ease thanks to the simultaneous highlighting of the sentence and word that is being read on the picture or in the plain text document. The app helps you get a good photo with special alignment tools, including spoken and vibration guidance. Snap multiple pages, such as a book, for later reading.
    Winner of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 AppleVis Golden Apple Award for Best Assistive Technology App.

    • Reads image-based PDF and JPEG files, and now tagged PDF and ePub files too!
    • Exports KNFB reader files as HTML or TXT files.
    • Navigates by line, sentence, word, or character.
    • Crop, rotate and edit the pictures you take before performing text recognition.
    • View documents in PDF presentation mode with double highlighting while reading.
    • View reading order and language-tagged PDF documents.
    • Add and remove bookmarks in PDF documents.
    • Switch between PDF view and reflowable text view.
    • Read documents in the increasingly popular ePub format.

    The app also has synchronized text highlighting to help you read along with the spoken text, a benefit for people with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.
    Need nutritional information from your breakfast cereal? KNFB reader can read labels. Out shopping and need a price? KNFB Reader can read price tags. Want to know what came in the mail? KNFB Reader captures it all.
    KNFB Reader captures print from your computer or tablet screen. Photograph the screen and know exactly what that error message says.
    Little details abound. We got rid of the fifty-page limit for batch recognition. Everything gets turned on its side with landscape support. Add subfolders to the local folder structure. Use Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive to store and retrieve your documents. You can now make calls, send emails, and open hyperlinks directly from documents; call or email your new contact directly from the text of her business card!
    Fully localized versions (user interface, recognition and speech) are available in: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Norwegian (Bokmål), Swedish, Portuguese, Dutch, Turkish, Danish, Polish, Russian, Japanese, and Czech.
    Other languages available for speech and recognition only: Afrikaans, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Romanian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Serbian (Latin), Slovak, Ukrainian.
    Visit our website at: www.knfbreader.com

    Download links

    This rounds up the list of apps I use daily. This is, however, not an extensive list of all accessible apps or apps for the blind and visually impaired available on the appStore and Playstore.


    Tags

    Android, Apple, apps, iPad, iPhone, Screen reader


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