Microsoft today launched a new app called Seeing AI, which the company describes as a talking camera for people who are visually impaired. The app uses artificial intelligence and the camera of an iPhone or iPad to describe the world around it. It's able to recognize text, objects, and people.


The app turns the visual world into an audible experience and using it is as simple as pointing the camera at various objects and people. The app can recognize saved friends, or describe people based on their approximate age and demeanor, and it can read text that it detects aloud.

Seeing AI can scan and read documents like books and letters, helping with formatting, and it can see objects like money to identify specific denominations. Within stores, it can scan barcodes to help users shop, and it's also able to be used within other apps like Twitter for evaluating images.

An experimental "Scenes" feature is available, allowing the app to analyze what's going on in a photograph. Scenes isn't perfect, and Seeing AI is an ongoing research product, so it may not accurately describe every image.


Seeing AI is available in the U.S., Canada, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore starting today, with Microsoft planning to expand it to additional countries in the future. It works on the iPhone 5c and later, but performs best on the iPhone 6s and later.

Seeing AI can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

AppleGuesser Avatar
55 months ago
This is cool. Technology being used to make a persons life better, more productive, that’s the dream and goal. Bravo Microsoft for attempting this, knowing this is the first of many long steps.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WRChris Avatar
55 months ago
seems like they're releasing all of this tech before the iphone 8 just so that they can say they did something first (incase the iphone does something similar)
Microsoft has been working on this for a very long time. They showed it at e3 this year. I think this is more about making the lives of blind people easier, not to be the first.

This software is severely limited by current battery tech.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btrach144 Avatar
55 months ago
I believe I read somewhere that two of Satya's children have disabilities. Could explain why Microsoft is pushing accessibility so hard (everyone should be in my opinion). Good for Microsoft.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WRChris Avatar
55 months ago
I believe I read somewhere that two of Satya's children have disabilities. Could explain why Microsoft is pushing accessibility so hard (everyone should be in my opinion). Good for Microsoft.
The guy they had at e3, who said he was leading the project, was blind. I thought it was pretty darn awesome too!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...