There’s a world of iOS apps out there to help people with blindness or vision loss navigate, recognize text and items, and perform other tasks that enable them to live independently, but sometimes it seems like Android users are not as well served in this area, with Android versions of popular apps lagging behind or never being built at all. Not so for Lend An Eye, a recognizer app that is currently Android-only (although an iOS version is in the works, too).
Like many recognizer and navigation apps that have come before, Lend An Eye uses smartphones’ built-in cameras to capture images of objects and the user's environment. But there’s a twist: unlike apps that compare photos to pre-existing images, maps or other stored information, Lend An Eye relies instead on a network of sighted volunteers to provide real-time feedback. Using humans instead of computers can lead to more accurate, nuanced descriptions, as well as provide a screen for temporary obstacles and environmental conditions that maps may miss.
Check out this CNET video to learn more, and download the app here (this includes you, sighted people who’d like to, well, lend an eye!).