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Local student helps the vision impaired to ‘see’ their phone

“I believe that my work would be able to create a meaningful impact to the lives of people having visual impairment as it would support them to explore and navigate the world and their surroundings with more ease” Swastik Chauhan – Lions Eye Institute Student Intern.

Swastik was involved in the development of various instructional and user manuals for the iOS application Seeing AI, as well as iPhone accessibility features and other smartphone applications that are specifically designed for people with a visual impairment.

Seeing AI utilises the smartphone camera, artificial intelligence and adaptive technology to audibly describe the surrounding environment. It can be used to read printed and handwritten text, recognise currency, and identify people, objects and colours.

Along with two other interns from the McCusker Centre, Swastik trialed Seeing AI using standard gestures and Apple’s suite of accessibility features in real life scenarios to understand the capabilities of the app and any challenges associated with its use.

The creation of these user guides will allow us to instruct people with a visual impairment in the use of different smartphone apps according to their lived experience. Swastik’s background in digital technologies and passion for the project was instrumental in the creation of the user manuals, which we hope will inform future research.

To download the Seeing AI application on the App Store for Apple devices click here.

To download the Seeing AI application for Microsoft devices click here.

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