Google's Accessibility App Lookout Can Use Your Phone's Camera to Find and Recognize Objects - Latest Global News

Google’s Accessibility App Lookout Can Use Your Phone’s Camera to Find and Recognize Objects

Google has updated some of its accessibility apps to add features that make them easier to use for people who need them. A new version of the Lookout app has been released that can read text and even longer documents aloud for people with visual impairments or blindness. The app can also read food labels, recognize currency and tell users what they see through the camera and in an image. The latest version features a new “Search” mode that allows users to select from seven item categories, including seating, tables, vehicles, utensils and bathrooms.

When users select a category, the app can detect objects associated with it as the user moves their camera around a room. They are then shown the direction or distance to the object, making it easier for users to interact with their surroundings. Google has also introduced an in-app capture button that lets you take photos and quickly get AI-generated descriptions.

A screenshot showing object categories in Google Lookout, such as:  B. Seating and tables, doors and windows, cups, etc.


The company also updated its Look to Speak app. Look to Speak allows users to communicate with other people by using eye gestures to select from a list of phrases for the app to say out loud. Now Google has added a text-free mode, giving you the ability to trigger speech by choosing from a photo book with different emojis, symbols and photos. Even better, they can personalize the meaning of each symbol or image for them.

Google has also expanded its screen reader capabilities for Lens in Maps, allowing it to tell the user the names and categories of the locations shown, such as ATMs and restaurants. It can also tell you how far away a certain location is. Additionally, improvements are being introduced to detailed voice guidance, telling the user where to go with audible prompts.

Finally, four years after launching on Android and iOS, Google has made Maps wheelchair information available on the desktop. The Accessible Places feature allows users to see whether the place they are visiting meets their needs – for example, businesses and public venues with an accessible entrance are shown with a wheelchair icon. You can also use the feature to see if a location has accessible washrooms, seating, and parking. The company says Maps currently has accessibility information for over 50 million locations. Those who prefer to search for wheelchair information on Android and iOS can now easily filter reviews that focus on wheelchair access.

Google made all of these announcements at this year’s I/O developer conference, where it also revealed that it has open-sourced more code for Project Gameface’s hands-free “mouse” for Android developers to use in their apps can. The tool allows users to control the cursor with their head movements and facial gestures, making it easier for them to use their computers and phones.

Find out all the latest from Google I/O 2024 Here!

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