Eye-D is an application that brings together various useful functions for people with low vision or blindness in one place. These functions include, but are not limited to, text recognition, object description, and location and awareness of the environment around the user.
The application has versions for both Android and IOS, which present significant differences in their interface, while maintaining the same functionality.
The interface in the Android and IOS versions differs notably, as can be seen in the images shown.
The Android version presents a grid layout on its main screen, the screen being divided into two columns and six rows. In each cell there is a button to access a certain function of the application. At the bottom of the screen there is a link that leads to a video, and in the upper left corner there is a button that accesses the application menu.
The IOS version, for its part, presents an interface in the form of a list with six links to the different functions. And, as in Android, in the upper left corner is the menu button.
In addition to the layout of the elements on the main screen interface, there are two more significant differences. The first is that in the Android version there are buttons associated with functions only available in the Pro version, which is not the case in the IOS version. The other important difference is that the interface in IOS is only available in English, and that language cannot be modified.
It should be noted that both versions present a high-contrast interface, with a black background and white letters, which facilitates the use of the application by people with low vision.
The different tasks that the application can perform are detailed below, and images of the interface on Android and IOS are shown. This is done because, as seen above, there can be substantial changes depending on which platform is used.
Where I am
This function allows the user to know the exact location where they are. The application provides you with the address where you are located, and allows you to access the location on Google Maps or Apple's Map. In addition, the application provides you with a list of the closest places and allows you to share your location with others through WhatsApp.
This function allows the user to know the places closest to him by categories such as ATMs, bus stations, banks, cinemas, food, hospitals and shops. In turn, some of these categories have subcategories, such as the food category, as can be seen in the corresponding images. Once the category is selected, the application will show you a list with the places that fit the selected category and subcategory.
In addition, the application allows you to manually enter the name of the place you are looking for or the category, as well as adjust the search range between 500 and 5500 meters.
This function allows the user to know the objects in an image. To this end, the application makes an enumeration of the categories in which the object or objects are found and provides some features of the same. This function does not describe the scene or the environment in which the objects are located, but provides information about the objects.
This function allows the recognition of texts from an image. To do this, it is necessary to use the camera to capture an image of the document. Once the photo has been taken, the application begins text recognition.
This process is somewhat complicated for completely blind people since the image capture does not have any mechanism to indicate if the document is being correctly focused. In addition, while in Android image capture does not require great precision from the user, in IOS it is necessary to make a very precise framing and close to the document so that an acceptable text recognition is performed.
This function allows the user to contact the developer in order to propose suggestions, report bugs or simply indicate the degree of satisfaction with the application. Contact can be made by phone call, SMS or email.
Pro version features
These functions are only available in the Pro version of the application. These include color identification, offline text recognition, front camera photos, travel mode, and advanced OCR. In the Android version, if you click on any of the functions of the Pro version, it is indicated that said function is only available in the Pro version and it is possible to update the application to that version. In the Ios version these functions are not present, showing a link to purchase the Pro version.
In this review we have analyzed the free version of the application, so the exclusive functions of the Pro version could not be tested and consequently cannot be evaluated.
This is the application menu. From here you can access different options and information about the application, such as the manual, the settings or the version of the application.
This option allows the user to access the application manual in text. In the Android version this manual is in Spanish, while in the IOS version it is in English.
In addition, from the Android version you can access different audio tutorials, although these are in English.
The image on the left shows the manual in Android, while in the image on the right you can see the manual in the IOS version.
This menu allows you to adjust the application parameters. In the IOS version you can only change the distance unit, while in the Android version you can also set the language and numbering in Object View mode.
In the image on the left you can see the settings menu in Android, while in the image on the right you can see the settings menu for the IOS version.
This option allows the user to send a message by different means to their contacts, or share the application link in the Google Store or the App Store.
Rate the app
This option allows the user to assign the application a rating, in the Play Store or in the App store, depending on the version in which it is being used.
This option provides information regarding the version of the application.
In the Android version it is also possible to update the application from here.
This option provides information about the application developer. In addition, buttons are presented to access the application's Facebook and Twitter profiles, as well as its website.
List of collaborators
This option displays a list of the application's collaborators, such as people who test the application or translate it.
Terms and Conditions
It is about the terms and conditions of the use of the application.
This option is empty of content. In Android and at the moment it is not available and in IOS, when it is accessed, it is empty.
For the evaluation of the application, a Samsung Galaxy J3 with Android and an iPhone SE with IOS have been used. It is important to take into account the devices used since the tests carried out are influenced by the hardware that the devices incorporate.
In the tests carried out, when text was read with the Read Text function, notably better results were obtained on Android than on IOS. With Android, a clear and understandable reading of the text has been obtained, without having to worry too much about the camera frame, while in IOS the reading was somewhat less intelligible. This may be due to the camera that the devices have, since the image obtained on the Android device was much sharper than that of the IOS device.
An important aspect to take into account in the Read Text function is that the application does not indicate to the user if it is correctly focusing on the document. Since the application is intended for people with visual functional diversity, this is an essential aspect so that a person with total blindness can independently operate this function, and with total satisfaction.
Regarding the tests carried out in order to evaluate the View Objects function, the application has correctly identified the objects, providing precise information about them. While it is true that the objects have been clearly identified, it is possible that another approach to this function will be more useful to the visually impaired. In this sense, the function could present more information about the physical aspects of the object, such as color, shape, type or the environment in which it is located.
The tests related to the Where Am I and Around Me functions have been very satisfactory. The application has correctly displayed the user's location at all times, and the waypoints were correct. Regarding their categorization and location, this has been correct and useful. It should be noted with respect to these two functions that their accuracy depends on the GPS and the data connection that the device has, so its correct operation is influenced by the device's hardware and the data plan that the device has. user has hired.
Finally, we will mention here the issue of application settings. There are hardly any configuration parameters. In IOS the only thing that can be adjusted is the unit of distance, while in Android it is also possible to configure options related to the View object and Debugging mode. This difference in configurable parameters may be due to the limitations that each platform, Android or IOS, establishes.
It is a very interesting application for people who are blind or have low vision since it allows them to know the environment that surrounds them.
The "Where am I" and "Around me" functions allow the user to know their location and the closest landmarks, such as commercial establishments, hospitals or bus stops. Other functionality only available in the Pro version, which has not been able to be tested, such as Travel Mode, should improve the location and movement of the user around the city.
The text recognition functionality is very useful for people with visual disabilities, since it allows them to read documents and other texts without needing the help of other people. Although this tool works very well in the Android version, it could be improved in the IOS version since the latter requires greater precision when taking the image of the text for satisfactory text recognition. however, the Advanced OCR option, only available in the Pro version, may improve text recognition.
In relation to the option of View objects, this identifies the objects correctly and provides information on categories in which these objects can be included. It might be interesting that this option makes a description of the objects instead, providing information regarding their physical properties such as color or shape.
The functions included only in the Pro version are quite interesting and useful. Advanced OCR, Color Identification, and Travel Mode are features that are of great interest to the visually impaired.
Last but not least, the application interface is designed in high contrast, which makes the application easier for people with low vision to use. Perhaps it would be good if in the Android version, as in the IOS version, buttons for functions only available in the Pro version were not included on the main screen, which would result in a simpler interface.
In short, it is a great tool that brings together different very useful accessibility functions in one place, with an accessible interface designed in high contrast, and that has versions for both Android and IOS users.
- Version on both Android and IOS.
- Simple, high-contrast interface.
- It allows to know the location and the closest reference points.
- High precision text recognition.
- The interface could be translated into other languages.
- The elimination of the buttons of the functions only available in the Pro version of the main screen could be studied for future versions of Android.
- The possibility of including a button to go back in the Android version could be analyzed.
- It could be suggested that a more detailed description of the physical properties of the objects be made in the Object View mode.