google announces lookout app to help blind people navigate their surroundings

google announces lookout app to help blind people navigate their surroundings

google has revealed an upcoming app designed to help blind or visually impaired people become more independent by giving spoken notifications as they encounter objects, text and people around them. dubbed lookout, it was announced during the I/O developer conference this week.

google announces lookout app helping the blind navigate their surroundings

images courtesy of google



google’s lookout offers four modes: home, work & play, scan and experimental (the latter allowing users to test out features being worked on by google). lookout then delivers information relevant to that activity. for example, it can tell them that there’s a ‘couch 3 o’clock’, meaning an object to be aware of is on their right. much like a google search engine, machine learning will increase the relevancy of results as more people use the app.


video by google



google recommends users wear their smartphone as a lanyard around the neck or in a shirt pocket, with the camera pointing away from the body. once a mode is chosen lookout processes information from within the environment such as text from a recipe book, location of a bathroom, an exit sign or a chair. the app then notifies users with minimal interaction, ensuring people stay engaged with their activity.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,541 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample