Google Lookout describes surroundings to visually impaired users using AI

Joanna Estrada
March 14, 2019

Google's Lookout app, and AI-powered app that helps blind and visually impaired users explore their surroundings, is now available on Pixel devices in the U.S.

The AI-powered app, which has been undergoing testing since it was originally announced in May 2018, is created to help blind and visually impaired people by identifying the objects around them. The app also has a camera view for live recognition. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of that staggering number can actually download Lookout from the Play Store right now, as initial support is limited to Pixel phones in the U.S. running Android 8.0 and above.

By the way, Lookout was originally announced at the I/O conference back in May 2018, requiring a lot of time for "testing and improving the quality" of its results. Thanks to AI, Lookout speaks items as it detects, making it easy to focus on daily tasks and easily navigate without obstacles. We're guessing it will all depend on how the app is received by Pixel 1, 2, and 3 users, whose feedback is specifically requested. Google noted, however, that Lookout is still a new technology and "will not always be 100 percent perfect". Google Lookout joins the company's growing list of accessibility apps. The app won't swarm the user with unnecessary info, though, but rather only tell them about the things it thinks are important.

It launched two new apps for Android last month, Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, which were created to help the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Sound Amplifier - which was also announced at last year's Google I/O - uses a phone and a set of headphones to filter, augment, and amplify sounds so that users can better hear conversations or announcements in noise-heavy environments.

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

Google hinting at accessibility initiative for disabled?

Australia finally has a telecommunications products resource dedicated to people with disability.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article