Google Lookout: App that reads grocery labels for the visually impaired

Google’s AI can now identify food in the supermarket, in a move designed to help the visually impaired. Part of Google’s Lookout app, this new update aims to help those with low or no vision identify things around them with the addition of a computer voice to say aloud what food it thinks a person is holding based on its visual appearance.

A UK based charity has welcomed the move, saying it could help boost blind people’s independence.

Google says the feature will “be able to distinguish between a can of corn and a can of green beans”.

“Food labels can be challenging for anyone with a visual impairment, as they are often designed to be eye-catching rather than easy to read,

said Robin Spinks from the charity

“Ideally, we would like to see accessibility built into the design process for labels so that they are easier to navigate for partially sighted people.”

This app “can help boost independence for people with sight loss by identifying products quickly and easily”.

Google also says it has made improvements to the app based on feedback from visually impaired users.

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