Mar 23, 2019 | Updated: 12:48 PM EDT

Lookout app from Google can help identify objects for the visually impaired

Mar 13, 2019 12:58 PM EDT

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The Lookout application from Google is now available for download. However, it is only compatible with Pixel devices in the United States and at the moment, it is only set to English. The application was first announced in 2018 at the Google's annual I/O Conference and it was developed to help the blind and the visually impaired to navigate their surroundings.

This application comes in three different modes: Quick Read, Shopping and Explore. Quick Read can read labels and signs, making it easy for the blind and the visually impaired to find Exit doors or labels of goods in a grocery store. The application can be very useful for learning the layout of a new area or space for the first time, or for completing tasks around the house as well as for reading documents. Shopping can read currency and barcodes, giving the users a way to make sure that they are holding the correct amount of money.

To use this application, Google recommends that the user wear the Pixel device on a lanyard around their neck or to place it in the front pocket of a coat or a shirt. In that way, the camera of the phone can get an unobstructed view of the surroundings and can identify the objects and text in situations where the blind or the visually impaired might typically have to ask for assistance or help.

Google says that the application may not always work with perfect accuracy and that they will continue to develop and expand the application as it gets more feedback from the users. They have a disability support team that will take in any feedback from the users, and Google officials stated that they will make the necessary adjustments in the application based on the feedbacks that they get.

 The goal of this application is to provide independence to millions of visually impaired around the world, and they are starting their launch in the United States.

The Lookout application from Google draws similar underlying technology as Google Lens, which lets you take action and search on the objects around you.  

There is no official statement when the Lookout application will be available on hardware other than Google's own, and there are also no statement when they will expand this project so that they can release it outside of the United States but Google says that they are hoping to bring the application to more devices, countries, and platforms soon.

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