Microsoft researchers seeking UK-based volunteers for data collection phase of future personalised object recognition app

iOS & iPadOS

We are researchers at Microsoft Research and City, University of London who are building a personalised object recognition app for blind and visually-impaired users.

Smartphones are helping blind users explore their world. For instance,  Seeing AI uses Artificial Intelligence to analyse a picture you take with the camera. While these kinds of systems currently can recognise common items, say for example “this is a mug”, the problem is that they can’t tell whether this is your mug. Also, they don’t know of items that are important to blind or low vision people, such as a white cane.

We are trying to change this.

To do this, we are first collecting a large-scale dataset of videos taken by BVI users of their personal objects - this is called the ORBIT dataset.

We have just launched Phase I of the collection via an iOS app called ORBIT Camera, and are looking for UK-based BVI volunteers.

We are looking for people who are blind to use an iPhone app to take short videos of things that are important to them. This app will allow thousands of visually impaired people to contribute imagery to help train the kinds of AI behind these smartphone apps.

We are looking for adults (18 years or older) who:

  • Live in the United Kingdom
  • Are blind
  • Speak English fluently
  • Have an iPhone
  • Do not have any cognitive impairment

Your participation would involve –

  • Filling in a background survey
  • Using an iPhone app to take videos of things you might want your phone to recognise

– and you’ll get a £50 Amazon voucher in appreciation of your time.

More details can be found on our website here