Facebook has introduced a new accessibility tool to its iOS app for blind and visually impaired people to help identify images posted on their social feed.

The function, called Automatic Alternative Text, works via VoiceOver and generates descriptions of photos that are spoken out loud as a user swipes past photos in the Facebook app.

Facebook-blind
Previously, people using VoiceOver would only hear the name of the person who shared the photo, followed by the term "photo", when they came upon an image in the News Feed.

Thanks to the new function – made possible by advancements in object recognition technology – a richer description is now available. For example, a user may hear, "Image may contain three people, smiling, outdoors."


Automatic alternative text is currently only available in English, but Facebook plans to add the function for other languages soon. To use the feature on an iOS device with the Facebook app installed, go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> VoiceOver and turn on the VoiceOver function.

Facebook is free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

Superhai Avatar
66 months ago
Although not directly baked into FB, TapTapSee is much cooler implementation of visual-identification http://www.taptapseeapp.com/
You should also check out http://aipoly.com
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spykthomas Avatar
66 months ago
If it can read tagged people in the photos as well, it would be awesome.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrgraff Avatar
66 months ago
Isn't this MacRumors? Aren't we all supposed to be hating Facebook and practically bragging about how we don't have it installed on our phones?

Although not directly baked into FB, TapTapSee is much cooler implementation of visual-identification http://www.taptapseeapp.com/
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
66 months ago
I wonder how accurate it is. For example, 20% of profile photos might say "Image may contain woman in need of external validation, puckering lips and showing major cleavage and top third of left nipple."
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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