Below is a collection of some very good apps to help individuals who are blind or those with low vision navigate their daily life with more confidence and with the least incumbrance possible. These apps are also ideal for use with students. They will provide them with an extra pair of eyes to help with learning. For apps to help people who are blind or have visual problems navigate their geographical surroundings, I recommend this list of the best navigation apps.
TapTapSee helps individuals with visual impairment identify and recognize objects in their surrounding environment. The way it works is simple: tap on the screen to take a picture and TapTapSee uses audio output to speak the identified object.
Some of the main features it offers include: picture recognition, upload pictures from the camera roll, save photos to camera roll with attached definition, share results with others using text or email, includes barcode and QR code reader, auto-focus notification, flash toggle, and many more.
Be My Eyes draws on the service of millions of volunteers to help provide visual support with tasks such as reading small print, setting home appliances, troubleshooting technology, reading product labels, navigating TV, sorting music collections or libraries, etc. The way it works is easy: users make calls and ask volunteers for help with any task they want. Volunteers see what is in front of user’s camera and offer visual support. With complicated tasks that require expertise, the app provides on-demand video customer support via Specialized Help.
‘If you have eyesight you want to share, sign up as a volunteer and answer calls from a person in need! Tasks are usually completed in just a few minutes, and if you’re busy there’s no need to answer – someone else will get it.’
Envision AI is an OCR app that ‘speaks out the visual world’. Using a combination of Optical Character Recognition and artificial intelligence, Envision AI can read any type of text in over 60 languages. You can ‘easily scan your paper documents (single or multiple pages) with the help of audio-guided edge detection. All content is spoken back to you and is ready for export and edit.’
Users can also import PDFs and images and get the app to read them outloud, Other helpful features Envision AI provides include color detection, barcode scans, find people around you (‘the names of your family and friends are spoken out whenever they are in the frame.)’, find objects around you (select common objects from the list in the app to find them), and more.
Aira is another good app for people who are blind or who have low vision. It works more or less like Be My Eyes. Aira offers visual information by professionals trained to help people with visual impairment with their day to day activities from sorting mail to reading menus at restaurants. The way it works is simple.
‘By using the camera on your smartphone, a live video stream is sent to an Aira Agent. Through an integrated dashboard, an Aira Agent is able to immerse themselves in the world of a person who is blind or has low vision, seeing and hearing their environment. Agents also have access to web-based data, including maps, location tracking, search engines, text-based messaging and even rideshare integration – all carefully calibrated to provide people who are blind or have low vision with a seamless and positive experience.’
Braille Academy app helps with learning Unified English Braille (UEB). Some of the features it provides include: 13 chapters from numbers and letters to special symbols and basic punctuation, offers 59 levels and 29 challenges, multiple themes to choose from, certificate of completion, works offline, and many more.
Sullivan+ is another practical app for people with visual problems or who are blind. It offers visual information for objects taken via the camera of one’s phone. Sullivan offers the following features: Artificial intelligence to help find the most relevant results, text recognition allowing users to point the camera at text and have it read out-loud, face recognition (recognizes people photographed and provides data about them such as age and gender), image description, colour recognition, light brightness, a magnifier, and many more.
Seeing AI describes the world around you in clear audio output. More specifically, it speaks any text the camera points at, provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, scans barcodes, saves people’s faces to enable you to easily recognize them, recognizes currency notes, reads handwritten text, ‘generates an audible tone corresponding to the brightness in the surroundings’, and many more.