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PocketVision app by Huawei lets blind & low vision users read text with phone camera

Honor, a Huawei subsidiary, has launched an artificial intelligence-powered app that make sit easier for blind and low vision people to read. Called PocketVision, it has three key modes to help people read more clearly.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), roughly 1.3 million people worldwide live with some kind of visual impairment. It is against this scenario that Honor, a subsidiary of Huawei has announced the launch of .

PocketVision claims to make reading easier for blind and low vision people by using HR's artificial intelligence (AI) and superior quad camera technology to deliver a portable, cost effective alternative to other magnifiers and typo-scopes currently available in the market.

Three modes

PocketVision features three key modes to help people read more clearly.

  • Text-to-Speech - Helps convert pictures to text faster and more accurately. It then narrates the text from books, documents, menus, etc with ease. This could be restaurant menus, train schedules, etc.
  • Zoom-In Mode - Uses Honor 20 PRO's 48MP quad camera lens and 8MP telephoto lens for ultra-clarity. Allows users to zoom into text using the volume buttons on their device. This makes even small letters larger, less blurred and more legible.
  • Negative Image - Offers a range of colour filters to enhance text. Improves the contrast of printed materials for people who struggle to see certain colours. This will enable users to change the contrast between the text and the background in images, making it easier to read text on medical prescriptions, etc,

While officially, PocketVision is being pitched only at the Honor 20 Pro smartphone, it can be downloaded through the Huawei AppGallery. It is not available through Google Play. By launching the app, Honor aims to create an enhanced reading experience for people globally.

At Honor, we believe in the relentless pursuit of innovation; creating cutting edge technologies which make a positive impact on the world. PocketVision aims to level the playing field for the visually impaired, giving this community a portable, affordable solution to other reading aids on the market. In launching this app, we hope to create an enhanced reading experience for people all around the world, enabling a greater sense of independence and giving people with low vision the confidence to unlock their potential and pursue their passions. - George Zhao, President, Honor

Honor has partnered with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) which supports people with vision impairments.

"Smartphone technology is playing an ever-increasing role in enabling everyday independence for blind and partially sighted people", said Robin Spinks, Senior Innovation and Technology Relationships Manager, RNIB and called PocketVision an example of an exciting new category of apps that allow on-the-spot accessibility. "Using this app, people with low vision have the ability to convert any text into a readable format, making the world a more accessible place, giving a greater sense of freedom and breaking down barriers to create a more inclusive society."

In December last year, Huawei launched StorySign, which translates children's books into sign language using image recognition. PocketVision can be downloaded for free and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, and Chinese.

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