Google expands Lookout app for people who are blind or vision-impaired

Lookout makes use of pc imaginative and prescient to assist people who find themselves blind or low-vision discover their environment and get issues accomplished.


Google on Tuesday expanded its Lookout app, designed for people who find themselves blind or low-vision, to extra Android gadgets. The search large additionally added two new modes, permitting customers to determine meals labels and to scan paperwork, and rolled out a extra accessible design for the app. Launched in March 2019, Lookout was previously available only on Pixel. Google additionally rolled out a number of different new options for Android.

With the Meals Label mode, Lookout can determine packaged meals when customers level their telephone’s digital camera at a label. In the event that they’re aiming the digital camera on the flawed spot, the app will inform them to maneuver the product till both the entrance of the merchandise or the barcode is clearly exhibiting. 

Lookout’s Meals Label mode in motion.


The Scan Doc mode is designed to make it simpler to undergo letters and mail. Folks can use Lookout to take a snapshot of a doc, and the app will then collect the doc’s content material and make it out there to be learn aloud by a display reader. 

Google can be launching a extra accessible design for Lookout that is extra appropriate with TalkBack, its Android display reader. Modifications embody offering extra space for the digital camera view so it is simpler to border an object, in addition to simplifying navigation by letting customers scroll between modes on the backside of the display. 

Lookout is now out there on all gadgets with greater than 2GB of RAM working Android and later. The app additionally now works in Spanish, French, German and Italian. Different modes of the app embody Fast Learn, which might learn aloud quick textual content on objects corresponding to flyers and indicators; a Forex choice, which identifies US {dollars} and invoice quantities; and Discover, which might determine objects round a room, corresponding to a desk or mattress when pointing the telephone’s digital camera. 

Tech firms all through Silicon Valley have been working to spice up accessibility throughout their merchandise as organizations make clear the many disparities that exist for millions of people around the world. In Could, Google rolled out a series of updates to MapsLive Transcribe and Sound Amplifier aimed toward bettering consumer accessibility. The search large can be collecting voice samples of people with Down syndrome to enhance its Google Assistant expertise. Final month, fellow tech large Facebook unveiled a new set of features designed to enhance accessibility on its web site, together with scalable font sizes and display reader bulletins that inform customers when an motion or put up is profitable. 

This 12 months marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Occasions just like the annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which this 12 months came about Could 21, purpose to advertise digital accessibility and inclusion all through the business.  

Extra updates to Android

Google launched a number of different Android updates, together with earthquake alerts powered by ShakeAlert to gadgets in California. Android phones all over the world working Android and above will now additionally be capable to detect earthquakes with the Android Earthquake Alerts System, creating what Google calls the “world’s largest earthquake detection community.” This can contribute to quicker, extra correct data when customers lookup “earthquake close to me” in Search. Google says over the approaching 12 months, extra states and international locations will get earthquake alerts by means of Android’s phone-based detection, giving individuals a heads-up to seek out cowl and security. 

Earthquake alerts are coming to Android telephone customers in California, earlier than increasing to extra states and cities over the approaching 12 months, Google says.


Moreover, by means of Android Emergency Location Service (ELS), which launched in 2016 to assist shorten emergency response times by sharing accurate location information, Android telephones can now share somebody’s system language setting after they name their native emergency quantity. That signifies that the place ELS is on the market, if somebody would not communicate the native language, emergency operators will rapidly know to get the required translator with a view to ship assist sooner. 

Updates to Android Auto enable customers to rapidly look at their schedule on their automotive show utilizing the brand new calendar app, they usually can faucet on a calendar occasion to get instructions to or name a listed location. The brand new app rolls out to gadgets working Android and above over the approaching month. The revamped settings app additionally permits customers to handle their Android Auto preferences from their automotive show. 

Lastly, Google is including the Bedtime tab in Clock for all gadgets working Android and above. The characteristic, which was previously available on Pixel phones, is designed to assist customers maintain a constant sleep schedule and restrict display time by reminding them when it is time for mattress and silencing notifications.

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