[AI] Fw: Technology - LookTel: The Future of Mobile Accessibility

Rohiet A. Patil patil_rohit at dataone.in
Wed Apr 7 13:52:28 EDT 2010

Technology - LookTel: The Future of Mobile Accessibility

LookTel is a company whose aim is to sell software than can be
downloaded onto mobile devices, making them completely accessible to
the visually impaired in ways that are truly incredible.

The software they've designed will be tethered with camera enabled
smart phones and features artificial sight programs used to identify
objects and landmarks. For example, by pointing the phone's camera at
a can of peas, the phone will speak aloud to its user, "Peas." If you
move the phone to the next can which happens to be corn, the phone
will say, "Corn." Beyond that, you can actually create custom labels
for the software to recognize. So if you have a Tupperware container
of salad in your fridge, you can stick a unique label onto it and
teach the phone that that label means salad. Whenever it sees that
label, it will say, "Salad." It can also recognize every denomination
of US currency.

Another feature is that the software will be able to recognize
landmarks, namely street signs and storefronts, to help the user
navigate. It even goes so far as allowing the user to access
assistance if they need it. By using the GPS imbedded in most smart
phones, the user could connect to someone else, transmit live video of
where they are, and the other person could see what the phone sees, as
well as their location on a map, and guide them to their intended
destination. This feature gives added comfort to those who may be able
to navigate most places with ease, but will require help from time to

The software also incorporates a text-to-speech feature, allowing the
user to take a picture of any text and listen to the phone read it
back to them. Beyond that, it makes touch screens entirely accessible
by using a different operating system that gives spoken feedback and
relies on easy to remember pattern placement of common phone

This is a huge step forward in accessible mobile technology that can
literally open up the world to people with visual impairment. The
software is being released in spring of this year as a beta test, and
will most likely be available for purchase late this year. It will be
compatible with every major US cell phone carrier.

To read more about the LookTel software, go to

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