Ipplex has debuted a “money reader” app for the iPhone that helps individuals with visual impairments or blindness instantly recognize US currency.
Users simply point the iPhone’s camera at any US bill and the phone speaks the denomination.
The application is also capable of recognize any bill denomination without the need to hold the camera still or take a photo, as recognition happens in real-time.
“The LookTel Money Reader is fantastic because it reads money quickly at any location – even if there is no Internet connection available,” explained Gary Kelly, an adviser to Ipplex and the Executive Director of Blind Wisdom Inc.
“One can use it and sort money as quickly as a sighted person can, and do this with total independence.”
According to Kelly, accessibility for currency has been identified as a serious problem for people with visual impairments in the United States.
In 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a district court opinion finding that “the Treasury Department’s failure to design and issue paper currency that is readily distinguishable to the visually impaired violates section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.”
While no changes to US currency have yet been made, the LookTel Money Reader seems to provide a viable method for the visually impaired to identify any denomination of US bills.