Google releases Lookout app for visually impaired and blind on Pixel devices
The app uses AI to help low-vision users better interact with their environment.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
app, which helps blind and visually impaired people identify objects through the phone's camera, is now downloadable in the Play Store. The catch? It's only available for people with Pixel devices in the US.
The Lookout app, which Google announced last year, uses technology similar to Google Lens to let users better explore and interact with their surroundings. Lookout also reads the text in signs and labels, scans barcodes and identifies currencies.
Google recommends wearing your Pixel device on a lanyard around your neck or keeping it in your front shirt pocket. From there, Lookout can tell you about people, read text, identify objects and more as you go about your day.
Patrick Clary, product manager in Google Accessibility Engineering, published a blog Tuesday that detailed when people might need to use Lookout, which for now is English-only. The most common times, according to Clary, would be in situations where you'd need to ask for help: visiting a new space, reading a document or completing daily tasks.
Clary noted that the Lookout app is still new and Google wants feedback from users to keep improving it.
"As with any new technology, Lookout will not always be 100 percent perfect," Clary said.
Originally published March 13, 8:44 a.m. PT. Correction, 10:39 a.m.: The original version of this story misstated the availability of the Lookout app. It's available on Pixel devices in the US (and is only in English).
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