Innovation That Matters

Image recognition app for the visually impaired

Work & Lifestyle

BlindTool is a smartphone app that uses image recognition technology to identify 3D objects and convey them verbally for blind users.

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With the advent of image identification technology, blind and visually impaired people are increasingly able to use their smartphones to help them navigate the world around them. The TapTapSee app translates photographs of 3D objects taken on the user’s smartphone into audible discriptions. Now, BlindTool takes this functionality one step further by removing the need for photographing the object. Instead, the free app automatically recognizes objects within seconds and identifies them verbally.

BlindTool is currently in Beta and as Fast CoExist points out, not always entirely accurate. But the app is designed to compensate for these mistakes to some extent; it will only verbalize an object if it is 30 percent sure it is right. A vibration feature also indicates the program’s level of certainty — increasing to a greater intensity when it is more certain.


BlindTool currently has an image bank of about 1000 images, which is significantly less than larger databases with around 37,000. Hopefully as the product develops it will find a middle-ground that allows for greater accuracy while maintaining the current speediness.

The BlindTool Beta is currently available from Google Play. Could image recognition software also be used as a teaching tool for foreign languages?



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