Smartphones are an everyday convenience in much of the world, but if you have vision impairment or low vision, they can help you navigate the world. Google is updating its Lookout app for Android for just that reason, adding new features like food label and document scanning, while rolling it out to more phones.
The Food Label scanner can identify packaged foods by pointing your phone’s camera at the package. The app will guide you through getting the right position, and once it scans the item announce what it is.
That’s a boon if you identify food packages by touch and encounter two similar shaped and sized items, like bottled liquids.
Everyone has a daily routine, from pulling out ingredients to cook a meal to sorting through their mail. To help people who are blind or low-vision complete these daily tasks faster and more easily, we’re introducing updates to Lookout on @Android → https://t.co/sSmtJgFd1f pic.twitter.com/O4LPuTSci4
— Google (@Google) August 11, 2020
Document Scanner uses the same basic concept to scan your letters and documents. It will digitize the message and then read it aloud to you. Google redesigned Lookout to use more space for the camera view, which should assist with framing the objects you try to scan.
Google is also expanding the number of devices that can run Lookout; now, if your Android phone has 2 GBs of RAM and runs Android 6.0 or later, it can work with the app. Additionally, Lookout now works in French, Italian, German, and Spanish. All these changes are a win for accessibility everywhere.