Introducing OKO, mobile APS that fits in your pocket

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iOS and iPadOS

AYES is an Antwerp based startup that uses artificial intelligence to create software that assists blind and visually impaired users on their walks. The first version of their app, OKO, is now live in the Benelux.

OKO uses artificial intelligence to recognise the pedestrian traffic light. We bring that information back to the user through audio and haptic cues, similar to a physical APS system. OKO is closely co-developed with blind and visually impaired users.

The user simply takes out the phone at an intersection and points the camera towards the direction of the traffic light. If the traffic light is in sight of the camera our app will recognize the pedestrian traffic light if one is present. Our blind and visually impaired testers have found out that it is quite intuitive to point the phone in the correct direction because the app is that fast. This ensures that the app starts making sound the moment the traffic light is in sight of the camera. Currently the application is only on iOS but the company AYES behind OKO is also developing an android version and a possible handsfree solution.

Currently OKO is available in the Benelux but AYES is expanding to different countries and is actively looking for testers in different countries. The expansion takes some time because data needs to be captured and the app needs to be tested to ensure safety. You can subscribe for testing using this link: https://ayes.ai/get-oko

AYES will later add more features like crosswalk detection, bus and tramnumber recognition, and obstacle avoidance.

The app can be downloaded using this link: https://apps.apple.com/be/app/ayes-oko/id1583614988

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Comments

Submitted by Rixon Smith on Monday, December 6, 2021

Will the app work with all standard traffic lights and then would I be able to try this in a rural part of the country is like Springfield Illinois? Reason for me asking this question is this, I happen to use hearing aids which totally changes how I perceive traffic patterns and times when it would be safe for me to cross intersections. This will be a game changer for people like me and especially for the deaf blind

Submitted by Willem Van de Mierop on Monday, December 6, 2021

In reply to by Rixon Smith

Hello Rixon, the camera recognizes the pedestrian traffic light because of computer vision and will therefor not be dependent where the traffic light might be located. However, currently we are not available in the US as of yet but we do have plans to expand. Be sure to check out https://ayes.ai/get-oko to get early access.

Submitted by a king in the north on Monday, December 6, 2021

I like apps like these, but if you live in a country that's very unsafe, its not practical to pull out your phone every time. I'd like some of these to be built into some kind of head mounted device. Hopefully the tech gets here soon.

Submitted by Malthe on Monday, December 6, 2021

Very cool! Are you expanding throughout Europe? I'm located in Denmark, and would love to test it here. How should I go about keeping updated - can I fill out the test form even though the app is not in my country yet?

Best
Malthe

Submitted by Blue on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Number one, how do you know where to Point out your phone to find a light? Number two isn’t there multiple lights on one street, how are you supposed to know that your phone is pointed to the correct like you are crossing.

Submitted by Earle on Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Do you plan on expanding to Canada? If so, how do I go about becoming a tester?

Submitted by Michiel Janssen on Wednesday, December 8, 2021

In reply to by Blue

Hi Blue,
Most of our users take their phone out at an intersection where they know there is a pedestrian light. OKO works while holding your phone horizontal and vertical, so it doesn't matter how you hold the phone. Since our software is that fast, it responds instantly whenever a pedestrian light is in sight. For some of our users even rotate their torso 180 degrees to find a pedestrian light. Once the phone makes noice or vibrates you know where the light is located at. OKO is trained to only look at pedestrian light and neglect all other lights. Moreover we taught OKO to only look at the main light you are about the cross, for example a double crossing, OKO looks at the traffic light closest to you. In the future we will incorporate GPS to enhance the sense of direction even more.

Submitted by Michiel Janssen on Wednesday, December 8, 2021

In reply to by Earle

Hello Earle,
Yes we are expanding to the US and Canada. You can sign up for early beta testing through this link: https://ayes.ai/get-oko
To scale to the US and Canada we need videos of pedestrian traffic lights, eg filming while walking through an intersection. The goal is to have as many red and green pedestrian light images. You and your relatives can always help out with collecting data. For this matter we have another app called OKO campaign, intended for uploading video and images. You can freely download it via https://apps.apple.com/us/app/oko-campaign/id1583843828