RNIB Awards LookTel App of the Month for VoiceOver Tutorial

On December 1st, the Royal National Institute of Blind People awarded LookTel the App of the Month, for our iPHone app, LookTel VoiceOver Tutorial. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the RNIB for honoring us in this way, and for showing support for us by helping get the word out for VoiceOver Tutorial.

 

We would also like to let our customers know, as well as the readership of the RNIB’s blog, that we are in fact, working on several significant updates to VO Tutorial as we speak. It was mentioned in the blog posting, that there is a need for a section for typing and keyboard practice. We whole-heartedly agree, and you can be assured that this is on our road map for VO Tutorial.

 

Again, thanks to RNIB and to the reviewer in this post. We truly appreciate your feedback and support.

 

Please do keep your suggestions and ideas coming for VoiceOver Tutorial!

 

YOu can follow us on Twitter at @LookTel and you can follow the RNIB at @RNIB.

Looktel Releases Money Reader for Macintosh OSX

NantWorks and IPPLEX have released their revolutionary LookTel Money Reader, app for Mac computers on the Apple Mac App Store. The cutting-edge iPhone application that has helped thousands of users with visual impairments or blindness identify and count bills is now available for Mac OS computers.  By simply holding a bill in front of your Mac’s camera, the application recognizes and speaks the denomination in real-time. LookTel Money Reader for Mac supports several international currencies including the Euro, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, and Australian Dollar. The app also features VoiceOver integration with support for several languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Korean, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese and more. If your Mac’s language setting is set to any of the supported languages, LookTel Money Reader will speak the denomination of a recognized bill in that language, regardless of the currency type.

Powered by LookTel’s patented and proprietary object recognition technology, the application can seamlessly recognize any bill denomination without the need to take a photo as recognition happens in real-time.

LookTel Money Reader for Mac is the first currency identifier available for Apple computers. The app is great for users to count and organize their bills in the comfort of their home, or users who do not own an iPhone.  LookTel Money Reader for Mac also gives users the option to use the app on their preferred platform.

LookTel Money Reader for iPhone launched in March to overwhelming praise from critics and users alike, earning a 5-star review average and a featured spot in the Apple App Store’s “What’s Hot” Category. LookTel has also been featured by the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Tech Crunch, Engadget, and several other major publications. LookTel has also been selected as the winner of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Chairman’s Awards for Advancements in Accessibility. The award, which recognizes outstanding efforts to advance communications accessibility for people with disabilities, was awarded in Washington D.C. on October 28th 2011.

Future LookTel apps will further leverage IPPLEX’s groundbreaking augmented reality technology, allowing users to recognize other everyday objects such as packaged goods, CDs, medication bottles, and even landmarks. The technology also combines precision image recognition technology with text reader capabilities using full featured Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

The LookTel technology powering the application was developed by IPPLEX under sponsorship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was awarded two research grants from the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute of Aging (NIA).

About IPPLEX
IPPLEX researches and develops pioneering cross-platform applications and services focused on interactive communication – between people and the information, contacts and places they need to access through their mobile phone or PC. Our award-winning iVisit mobile video conferencing solutions have made business simpler and easier – and our iVisit Mx telemedicine solutions are the next step in mobile medical technology. In 2010, we launched LookTel, an exciting augmented reality application created to positively impact the lives of the visually impaired, and a 1st place winner in the 2010 CTIA E-Tech Awards. From live audio/video conferencing solutions to mobile healthcare to augmented reality applications, IPPLEX is always one step ahead of the curve. For more information, see http://www.ipplex.com.

About NantWorks
NantWorks LLC is a company founded and led by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Its mission is to converge semiconductor technology, supercomputing, advanced networks and augmented intelligence to transform how we work, play and live. Early applications will be in the fields including scientific research and healthcare. For more information, see http://www.nantworks.com.


Let Siri help you read your money

While the latest release of the Looktel Money Reader offers significant new features for its human users, one Easter egg actually even gets Siri’s attention. :)

For users of iPhone 4S, it’s now possible to have Siri assist you in bringing up Money Reader so you can save time in searching for the app on your home screens. Siri integration means that you can have the personal assistant locate a link to the app for you, so that you can quickly and conveniently double tap to open it in an instant, for those times when you really need Money Reader on short notice, or would simply rather not need to move through several pages of apps to locate it yourself.

Here’s how this feature works…

• First, once you have Money Reader installed on your phone, create a new contact in your Contacts app.

• Name this contact anything you’d like, bearing in mind that this is the name that you’ll use to bring up Money Reader.

• In the homepage URL text field, type the following: moneyreader://

• Double tap the ‘done’ button to finalize editing of your new contact.

To use this new feature, do the following…

• Tell Siri to bring up your new contact by simply saying the name you’ve entered.

• Siri will then present you with the contact you just created, and its associated info, which, in this case, will be the URL you typed in for Money Reader.

• Now simply double tap the URL you see on the screen, and Money Reader will launch for you.

That’s it! It’s as simple as that! :)

From now on, when you’d like to use Money Reader, simply tell Siri the name of the Money Reader contact, and Siri will bring it up for you. Double tap the URL to bring up the app and you’re good to go!…

Hope you enjoy this tip and happy Money Reading!…

FCC Chairman’s AAA award presented to Looktel for the Looktel Money Reader

On Friday, the 28th of October, 2011, Gary Wynn Kelly accepted the FCC chairman’s award for advancement in accessibility on behalf of Looktel, for the Looktel Money Reader. This historic event, held in October (National Disability Employment Awareness Month) recognizes innovations and developments in both mainstream and assistive technologies, as well as advances in standards and best practices which promote accessibility.

All of us here at Looktel would like to offer our most sincere thanks to Chairman Genachowski, Commissioner Copps, and the FCC for honoring us with this most prestigious award. -And thank you Gary, for accepting this on our behalf!

You may view an archive of this historic event at the following link:

http://www.fcc.gov/events/chairmans-awards-advancement-accessibility

NantWorks Object Recognition Technology Wins FCC Chairman’s Award

An Early Win for Newly Formed NantWorks LLC, LookTel Turns a Smart Phone into a Device That Helps the Blind to See

LOS ANGELES, Oct 27, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE)

NantWorks LLC, the company formed by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in September this year, announced that its LookTel technology had been selected as a winner of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Chairman’s Awards for Advancements in Accessibility. The award, which recognizes outstanding efforts to advance communications accessibility for people with disabilities, will be presented at a ceremony at FCC headquarters in Washington D.C. on October 28th 2011.

LookTel was developed for the blind and visually impaired. It enables a standard smart phone to be used to recognize objects such as currency bills, packaged goods, medication bottles, storefronts and landmarks. Recognition happens in real time, without delay, and the device will speak the identity of the object, for example the denomination of a bill.

“We are honored to have been chosen for this award from the FCC,” said Dr. Soon-Shiong, “and delighted to be able to bring forward this important recognition platform, which is going to make a difference to many people’s lives.”

About NantWorks

NantWorks LLC is a company founded and led by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Its mission is to converge semiconductor technology, supercomputing, advanced networks and augmented intelligence to transform how we work, play and live. Early applications will be in the field of scientific research and healthcare. For more information, see www.nantworks.com .

SOURCE: NantWorks LLC

NantWorks, LLC

Jen Hodson

310 405 7539

jhodson@nantworks.com

Copyright Business Wire 2011

View MarketWatch story at:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nantworks-object-recognition-technology-wins-fcc-chairmans-award-2011-10-27

Managing Your Photos in iOS 5

An accessible mobile camera is, thankfully, no surprise to visually impaired users of the iPhone and iPod Touch. In fact, it may well be the only accessible mainstream camera for the visually impaired, out-of-the-box. I.E. When a blind or visually impaired user turns on Voiceover the camera is as available to them as it is to any sighted user of the iPHOne. This, in itself, is a huge leap forward in leveling the playing field as it were, to make technologies useful and meaningful to all.

One new feature in particular, in iOS 5, takes camera use by the blind and visually impaired, to a whole new level. -And no, I’m not talking about face recognition here. (but we’ll get to that in a future post) :)

The feature I’m referring to here, is the ability, of Voiceover users in iOS 5, to label elements of information on the screen. Yes, Voiceover already does announce controls or items of information as one touches or flicks to them. This feature takes this further by offering the Voiceover user the chance to customize how a control or bit of information is spoken or described to them.

Now you may be asking why I mention the camera in the first part of this post; while it’s wonderful to be able to take pictures with your iPhone, and its wonderful to be able to label some elements on your screen, so they make better sense to you, it would be even more amazing to be abel to label pictures you’ve taken with the camera, so that you could share them later, with people you know. this is, after all, what sighted iPhone users do every day.

Well, with the new iOS 5 labeling feature in Voiceover, you can do exactly this! -And it’s so very easy and elegant as well. :) Here’s how you do it!

• Once you’ve taken a picture with the camera, it then shows up in your Camera Roll, which you can find in either your Photos app, or in your camera itself, in the Photo and Video Viewer.

• Double tap the Camera Roll to open it and locate the image you’ve just shot. (the latest image is at the bottom and will be labeled with the highest number.

• Here’s the fun part; Tap the screen twice, with two fingers, and hold them down on the second tap.

• You’ll hear a series of tones, and then you’ll be presented with a dialogue where you can enter a new name for the photo, or edit the existing name.

• Once you have a name you like, simply double tap the ‘Save’ button and that’s all there is to it!

• Congratulations! -You’ve just named your first photograph on the iPhone!

Now whenever you come back to the Camera Roll, you will see your new name for the photo you’ve chosen. This way you can now know which images you’d like to share with your friends / loved ones, when you revisit your images that you’ve shot.

One important note to mention here, is that this new labeling feature is actually dependent on which ever app you’re running at the time. What this means is that when you label a photo in the camera itself, you’ll only see your new name when you again open the camera app. If you open your Camera Roll from within your Photos app, you’ll see your old photo names. So It’s important to name your photos in one app. Either choose to name them from your Camera or from within your Photos app.

I hope you’ll find this new feature and interesting way of using it, helpful. Happy photo labeling!

IPPLEX Releases Major Update to LookTel Money Reader iPhone App

IPPLEX releases LookTel Money Reader 2.0, a cutting edge iPhone app thathelps people with visual impairments or blindness instantly recognize multiple currencies. Once the app is loaded, users simply point the iPhone’s camera at a bill and the phone will speak the denomination.

IPPLEX Releases Major Update to LookTel Money Reader iPhone App, which Helps People with Visual Impairments or Blindness

Culver City, Calif., October 11th, 2011

NantWorks and IPPLEX have released a major update to their revolutionary LookTel Money Reader, a cutting-edge iPhone application that has helped thousands of users with visual impairments or blindness identify and count bills. By simply pointing your iPhone’s camera at a bill, the application recognizes and speaks the denomination in real-time. The new update, now available in the App Store, adds recognition support for several international currencies including the Euro, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, and Australian Dollar. New features also include VoiceOver integration with support for several languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Korean, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese and more. If your iPhone language setting is set to any of the supported languages listed above, LookTel Money Reader will speak the denomination of a recognized bill in that language, regardless of the currency type.

Powered by LookTel’s patented and proprietary object recognition technology, the application can seamlessly recognize any bill denomination without the need to hold the camera still or take a photo as recognition happens in real-time.

LookTel Money Reader launched in March to overwhelming praise from critics and users alike, earning a 5-star review average and a featured spot in the Apple App Store’s “What’s Hot” Category. LookTel has also been featured by the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Tech Crunch, Engadget, and several other major publications.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 314 million people are visually impaired worldwide and 45 million of them are blind. The decision to first release an app for the iPhone rather than another platform was based on the growing trend among people with visual impairments or blindness to adopt the incredibly popular device. Gary Kelly, an adviser to IPPLEX and the Executive Director of Blind Wisdom Inc., explains that “Every iOS device including the iPhone has VoiceOver, which is easily turned on through the Settings menu. This makes any iPhone talk. With VoiceOver, any iPhone will read any item touched on the screen, and speak when a number or letter is entered. This makes the entire device entirely accessible to anyone who is blind. The best part is that nothing has to be added, or purchased extra. One can go into the store, buy any iPhone or iOS device, and turn on VoiceOver in only a minute. From then on, it will work as well for anyone blind as it does for persons who are not blind.”

The LookTel technology powering the application was developed by IPPLEX under sponsorship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was awarded two research grants from the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute of Aging (NIA). LookTel Money Reader is the first LookTel application released to the iPhone App Store, providing an immediate benefit at an extremely low price. The app can be used while shopping, paying a bill, or withdrawing from an ATM to count money and ensure users they are getting the right amount of change back.

According to Kelly, who has been using the app regularly, “LookTel Money Reader is an exciting advance because it is so easily used. Even though a camera is used to view the money, the response is so fast that it is easy to learn to focus the camera on the money and hear VoiceOver read the bill. Now, with the new International version, one can read money of several nations independently, in a preferred language. This is the first device to have such a capability. It offers the same independence to persons from other cultures and nations as English-speaking Americans have had for the past 6 months.”

Compared to traditional “money reader” devices, which are standalone and can cost hundreds of dollars, the LookTel Money Reader runs on the iPhone, costs only a few dollars to purchase, and is very easy to install.

Future LookTel apps will further leverage IPPLEX’s groundbreaking augmented reality technology, allowing users to recognize other everyday objects such as packaged goods, CDs, medication bottles, and even landmarks. The technology also combines precision image recognition technology with text reader capabilities using full featured Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

A demo video of the LookTel Money Reader application is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HMVXEZNeNM

About IPPLEX
IPPLEX researches and develops pioneering cross-platform applications and services focused on interactive communication – between people and the information, contacts and places they need to access through their mobile phone or PC. Our award-winning iVisit mobile video conferencing solutions have made business simpler and easier – and our iVisit Mx telemedicine solutions are the next step in mobile medical technology. In 2010, we launched LookTel, an exciting augmented reality application created to positively impact the lives of the visually impaired, and a 1st place winner in the 2010 CTIA E-Tech Awards. From live audio/video conferencing solutions to mobile healthcare to augmented reality applications, IPPLEX is always one step ahead of the curve.

About NantWorks

NantWorks LLC is a company founded and led by Dr. Patrick Soon‐Shiong. Its mission is to converge

semiconductor technology, supercomputing, advanced networks and augmented intelligence to

transform how we work, play and live. Early applications will be in the fields including scientific research

and healthcare. For more information, see www.nantworks.com.

Welcome To The Looktel Blog

I’d like to thank you for visiting, and extend to you a warm welcome to this, the official Looktel Blog.

My name is Cara Quinn and I’ll be one of your facilitators / moderators. This blog is meant not only as a source of Looktel news but also as a centerpiece for community discussion around Looktel products and resources.

Over the coming days, others here at Looktel will introduce themselves as well. So in addition to Looktel news, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know this company in a more personal way.

So let me once again welcome you and encourage you to take part in the on-going discussion as it unfolds here. Enjoy, and we the Looktel team, look forward to connecting with you!