Seeing AI is a free application, developed for IOS by Microsoft, that allows blind people to scan the environment around them using the camera of their mobile phone, and have objects recognized and described. The application combines many powerful features, based on the latest AI research from Microsoft, making it a powerful all-purpose application for those who are blind.

The application includes multiple “channels” that can be selected depending on what information the user is looking for or what objects the user is attempting to recognize. Features of the app include the ability to recognize short text in real-time, the ability to scan longer text (like pages from a book or menu) into a document, currency identification, colour identification, barcode scanning, face recognition, and descriptions of generic photos or scenes.

Since its original US-only release, Microsoft has continued to update the app to make it available in new countries and languages, improve the existing AI, and add new features to take advantage of the latest advances in the iPhone and Microsoft’s AI research.