Aipoly Vision: Sight for Blind & Visually Impaired

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Category

Description of App

Aipoly is an object and color recogniser that helps the blind, visually impaired, and color blind understand their surroundings. Simply point your phone at the object of interest and press the large toggle button at the bottom of the screen to turn on the artificial intelligence.

Aipoly will keep running and recognising objects until you switch to a different tab, or toggle the Aipoly button.

Aipoly is suited for both the visually impaired and the sighted.

● Recognise Objects:
Aipoly can recognise a wide variety of objects at a rate of three times a second. Simply switch on the Aipoly button and it will start identifying what it sees through the camera. Recognising objects does not require an internet connection.

● Recognise Colors:
Aipoly can tell up to 954 colors apart. The list can also be simplified to a few through the settings if you are unfamiliar with most color names.

● Teach Aipoly:
Aipoly will learn more object if its users help it by writing descriptions of what it sees. This is a good way for sighted users to help the visually impaired. Press the pencil button once object recognition is toggled on to write a description of the object or scene in focus. Detailed descriptions work best. Over time, Aipoly will begin learning about more items thanks to its users.

● VoiceOver:
For those with VoiceOver switched on, simply access the text above the toggle button. For those who are sighted and do not require VoiceOver, you can access the Speaking Voice setting to listen to what the app can see.

● Voice Modes:
You can switch between different voice modes in the settings page. Ranging from standard, which says one word at a time, to advanced for multiple words, to likelyhood and fun, which express the likelyhood of the item viewed and add additional captions respectively.

● Intelligent Torch:
When Aipoly detects darkness through the camera, it will automatically turn on the torch so you don't have to worry about lighting. When the light is switched on, it will turn the torch off.

Aipoly works on:
iPhone 5S
iPhone 6
iPhone 6Plus
iPhone 6S
iPhone 6S Plus
iPad Air and above.
iPad Mini 2 and above.

Disclaimer:
Aipoly is not a medical application, nor a substitute for human or canine visual assistants. It will not understand every object that you point it to and will eventually make mistakes on what it sees.

Version

1.1

Free or Paid

Free

Apple Watch Support

No

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

iOS Version

9.2.1

Accessibility Comments

The app is very accessible. Note: If you have voiceover enabled, flick left of the toggle button and you will see text of what the IPhone is seeing. Only then will it begin reading what it sees automatically. Also, I wish there was a way we could know if the toggle button is on or off. For now, voiceover just says toggle button. It works when you double tap, but if it's on, I'd hope that in the future, it will say "Selected, Toggle Button," for instance. Other than that, the app works, but it has a lot to learn. It's a new app, though, and baby steps will help this app begin to learn to recognize things more accurately in the future. Amazing app!

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

As I said in the accessibility comments, make sure you're on the text above the toggle button when it is on in order for voiceover to read incoming text automatically. Alternatively, you can go to the settings tab, make sure the speaking voice is switched on by default, then go back to the object or color tab, depending on what you want to hear. Double tap the toggle button to turn it on, and then, you can turn voiceover off, and Scansoft Samantha will automatically speak what the phone sees if the toggle button is on.

Recommendations

5 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Melissa Roe 2 years 4 months ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Peter Verhoeven on Monday, January 4, 2016

Very confusing app. There are 5 pages and I do not find any button. If I swipe from left to right I only hear VoceOver reading some tekst, but no button is found. So, how does this app work, if it works at all?

Submitted by Ka Yat Li on Monday, January 4, 2016

The five pages you are dealing with is the tutorial. To go through them, do a three finger swipe left. There is an indicator that you are dealing with pages but you have to feel around for it. Just one of those minor bugs they need to fix. Overall, this app has great potential.

I had the same problem, but after I read the previous comment, I did the 3-finger left swipe on page 5, and was taken to the reader. On this screen are the following 4 tabs l-r: Object,Color, Settings, Info.. Don't see any other buttons or tabs, but when I selected the color tab, it automatically started reading colors.

Hope this helps! Be BLESSed in 2016! MSnMSThe object and color buttons are the 2 choices of what needs to be scanned,

**Sorry for the comment duplication! But I decided to add more...
I looked again and do see a toggle button and a pencil button.
When I changed my selection from color to the object tab, it doesn't automatically read the screen as does the color tab. I have to swipe to get it to say what the object is. What, if anything, am I doing wrong here?
**

I had the same problem, but after I read the previous comment, I did the 3-finger left swipe on page 5, and was taken to the reader. On this screen are the following 4 tabs l-r: Object,Color, Settings, Info.. Don't see any other buttons or tabs, but when I selected the color tab, it automatically started reading colors.

Hope this helps! Be BLESSed in 2016! MSnMS

Submitted by Peter Verhoeven on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Thank you very much for your help. swipe 5 times with three fingers to the left, brings me on a screen where I can toggle a button and some objects are sppoken to me. Indeed promising app, but the user interface could be better. As a blind user you get no feedback if the camera is looking for objects or turned off. Also the issue that I first have to swipe with three fingers to the left, before I can start, is not a goed design. Wimply create one screen with some tabs. One of those tabs can be the manual.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I've heard from more than one person on social media that this app is a battery killer. So much so that, one guy had his iPhone at 30% when he launched the app and it took his battery down to 0% in a matter of about a minute or so. That could always be an isolated incident but approach with caution. I would have a full battery when testing the app.

Submitted by Kathy Blackburn on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In reply to by Peter Verhoeven

Thanks to previous comments, I found out how to get past the five how-to-use screens. However, the app did not identify a single thing I tried, and they were common objects. Having watched the video on the developer's website, I have to wonder if any actual blind people were consulted. Why would anyone think a blind person needs an app to identify a coffee cup? That is what my hands are for.

Submitted by Ka Yat Li on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I agree with the previous comment. It isn't useful now because it only identifies common objects which we can already do with our hands. However, I see the potential with where this is going. I believe that when the database is much larger, we will be able to identify products on shelves in real-time which means we can browse stores independently.

Submitted by Peter Verhoeven on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I did some testing with Aipoly and TapTapSee.
TapTapSee identified nearly all objects. But it takes a long time before objects are indentified.
You must also take a picture, which can be a hard job if you are blind.
Aipoly use the camera to identify objects. This consumes really a lot of battery.
10% of my battery was used in 5 minutes. Indentifying objects is really bad. Less objects, mostly identiefied wrong. Much work must be done to give this App any practical usage value.
Another problem with these kind of Apps is the suggestion that it turns an iPhone in a seeing device for the blind.
Really misleading, because they all have no practical value for blind smartphone users.
All of these Apps do never pass the stage of piloting.
I'm waiting for the App navigating my through the trafic, telling me what's around, warning me for obstacles, without emptying my battery in 1 hour.
So currently there is not any seeing iPhone helping the blind!

Submitted by Niall Gallagher on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hi All,

Someone on social media advised that VoiceOver is disabled while using the application.
I briefly tried this last night, and the application works perfectly when VoiceOver is disabled.

Before realising this, I had thought its an application with potential, but it needs serious work.

One thing to note though, when I tried the application on my iPod Touch 6G, it got frighteningly heated.
I think this is in part due to the very bright flash which is active when the application is open.

The flash I am referring to seems to be set to its highest setting, even higher than the flash used by other scanning applications like DigitEyes.
I will try the application on my iPhone, and report back.

Kind regards,
Niall

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

At the moment, this app has a lot of potential. I took an overhead picture of my bed, which at the time had a sheet with a checked pattern on it and the app identified it as "cement". Right now taptapsee does a better job with identification, but then that app is powered by an online AI system which probably has terabytes of data to compare the picture to, while Apoley uses an offline database. As it gets larger, I think this app will become more useful.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Reminds me a bit of viswis. Except this is an AI. I hope though unlike viswis it won't get abandoned. I'm not sure this will work well as things can be fooled and faked, but we'll see I guess.

Submitted by Mark SARCH on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Updated: Jan 26, 2016
Version: 1.1
Size: 135 MB
Require WiFi connection to download it
What's New in Version 1.1
Aipoly got smarter and easier to use:
● Speaking Voice works alongside VoiceOver.
● Speaking Voice has now a Male and Female option.
● Speaking Voice can now change speed.
● Colors are now more accurate.
● Automatic torch now detects brightness to switch on automatically in low light settings.
● Fun Object mode now reacts differently to different items.
● Accuracy and speed of recognition improved.
● Speaking Voice language set to English by default to improve pronunciation.
● Better labels for VoiceOver: The main button and teaching button now let you know if they are switched on or off.
● The start screens are now easier to navigate through VoiceOver, three-finger swipe can now be heard as an instruction.
● Advanced color list has been updated.

Submitted by Ken Downey on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wow! I, can't wawait to try this. I used it recently, and though it's not as good as tap tap see, it's free and fun.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Saturday, January 30, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

What's New in Version 1.1

Aipoly got smarter and easier to use:
● Speaking Voice works alongside VoiceOver.
● Speaking Voice has now a Male and Female option.
● Speaking Voice can now change speed.
● Colors are now more accurate.
● Automatic torch now detects brightness to switch on automatically in low light settings.
● Fun Object mode now reacts differently to different items.
● Accuracy and speed of recognition improved.
● Speaking Voice language set to English by default to improve pronunciation.
● Better labels for VoiceOver: The main button and teaching button now let you know if they are switched on or off.
● The start screens are now easier to navigate through VoiceOver, three-finger swipe can now be heard as an instruction.
● Advanced color list has been updated.

Submitted by Kirstan on Friday, March 18, 2016

Hi all. I eagerly downloaded Aipoly Vision after hearing about it on a list I am on. To my horror, I can not use it just because I have an IPhone 5! Why is this? I have the latest IOS and I do believe even some of the 4S IPhones can still run the latest IOS so why has this app been limited to more up to date IPhones?? I do hope the Developer reads these comments and might even consider opening up the App to lower versions of the IPhone? Would this be difficult to do or am I just plain out of luck on this one?

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Saturday, March 19, 2016

If this app were to be run on older iPhones, the processor would be pushed to its maximum capacity, so you would lose all of VoiceOver's functionality and the device would freeze and crash. Also, the battery would drain drastically quickly.

Submitted by Gudrun Brunot on Saturday, April 2, 2016

I've downloaded AiPoly Vision but have not really used it yet. It's been update via the App store. What I'm wondering is whether the pen can be used by a blind person or is it available just for the sighted user? If the latter is the case, can Dictate be used, or some workaround with Siri? Sometimes, you have someone who will most gladly describe those 12 silk tops you've got, color id it, indicate the manufacturer, washing instructions, whatever, but writing on the iPhone keyboard might prove harder, so they shorten the description and don't put in what you would have done if you could have.

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Saturday, April 2, 2016

Giving Aipoly your own descriptions is possible through VoiceOver, but you have to be exactly sure of what you are labelling.

Submitted by Gudrun Brunot on Thursday, April 14, 2016

In reply to by TJT 2001

Describing something exactly the way you want--that's exactly what I'm hoping to be able to do. Say you're in a clothing store, and you've just found a great jacket with a dramatic pattern of red velvet appliqué circles on dark red satin, and the buttons on the sleeves are gold. If you can use a "dictate" button, you can even have the store clerk speak it. Or, after you've heard someone describe it, you can speak it yourself. I'm still wondering how to find the pen button. Can a blind person find it and after that, type in a description?

Submitted by Adam Samec on Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hello,

the text recognition feature of this app is exceptional and really useful, as I describe below. By the way, the developers have launched this survey where you can express your suggestions or support the following.

I would welcome if the app could precisely, but mainly as instantly and easily as possible, recognize any type of text no matter its formatting or style, which it currently does already better than other similar apps I know. This would, right out of the box, allow me to quickly discern any grocery such as tea or spice packages, and other labeled products, as well as documents, leaflets and even unusual banknotes, without needing a human assistance, special means of labeling things, or any kind of previous setup. However, I would combine this ability with a new mode of recognition in the same manner how apps like LookTel Recognizer or EyeSense work. They let the user to teach specific objects to the app by taking one or more photos of them, assigning a custom text or audio recorded description, and then the user can have the description be instantly spoken whenever the phone is put close to a learned object. Everything what LookTel Recognizer can do I would really welcome also in Aipoly Vision, but with one new important enhancement which is the possibility to easily share subsets of custom learned objects databases, thus creating, for instance, catalogs of recognizable currencies in a particular region or products in a specific shop, easily downloadable by other users right from within the app, possibly with some ranking system to ensure their quality. This way you would not need to worry about the app not supporting the current banknotes or various world currencies, you would let the users to create the object databases and pick which of them they want from the other users. And this new custom object recognition mode could be well integrated with the text recognition mode as I describe in the next answer.

It would also be extremely useful if during all the modes, including all the existing ones and this new suggested custom object recognition mode, a text detection feature was available which would signal by using a sound or vibration if some text is just being captured. Such signal would tell me, in case I was searching for a text on a product, unusual banknote, or so, when to activate the text recognition while in any other mode, however, being able to activate it more easily, with a double-tap with two fingers, for instance.

I am currently trying a 1 month subscription, but I am going to cancel it the next month since the cost is too large for me. But a fee about 2 USD per month and better support for the text recognition and the suggested custom object recognition mode, would convince me to subscribe again.

As I described, currently, I see the best use for Aipoly and its biggest uniqueness and potential in instant (styled) text recognition which is how I would advertise this app. Also, since currently the only supported currency for recognition is US dollars, I use the text recognition feature also for reading the banknote denominations in other currencies than USD, and it works surprisingly well thanks to its ability to recognize also a slightly styled text, although the drawback is that I need to find where the amount is located on the banknote.

Best regards

Submitted by Lucas on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How do you access the pencil to add detailed descriptions on the latest version of the app?

Submitted by Remy on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AI and machine learning seem to be very prevalent for recognition lately. How is this app in comparison to Seeing AI and even Vocal Eyes? I'm leary about subscriptions. I don't mind paying for an app, but if apps are going to start charging subscription plans (which a lot are starting to) it's going to start adding up in a real hurry. Especially when there are already apps which do all these things well.

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