LookTel Money Reader iPhone app puts currency in sight

Jul 11, 2011
Finance

Being able to see what little money I have in my wallet is a luxury I hadn’t really considered — that is until I came across LookTel Money Reader, for iPhone and camera-equipped iPod Touch. Designed to aid the blind and visually impaired in identifying what U.S. currency they have in hand, LookTel quickly scans […]

Being able to see what little money I have in my wallet is a luxury I hadn’t really considered — that is until I came across LookTel Money Reader, for iPhone and camera-equipped iPod Touch. Designed to aid the blind and visually impaired in identifying what U.S. currency they have in hand, LookTel quickly scans bills, sharing its results out loud.

Users with iDevices lacking a flash will want to be in a well-lit area, but my experience with LookTel on an iPhone 4, even in a dark room, was stellar. Launching the app will automatically turn on the camera’s viewfinder and flash. There are no additional screens in LookTel, but there isn’t anything missing. Once the app is on, you’ll just need to put your bill in view of the camera lens. The app works in real time, so there’s no need to tap the screen to take a photo. LookTel will display the denomination on-screen as well as say the answer aloud. Often, the app would tell me the denomination even before it was in focus, thoroughly impressing me with its speed (the app also requires no Internet connection).

I used LookTel on different areas of a $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bill, and each one was identified correctly, even if only a portion of the bill was available. The only recognition issue I came across was on the $10 bill. When only the bottom edge of the corner 10 was shown to LookTel, the app identified the denomination as $20. Because the app requires no tapping, my iPhone did not understand that I was using an app and did go into sleep mode on more than one occasion. But these are minor issues.

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LookTel Money Reader delivers as advertised and can provide independence for blind or visually impaired cash users.

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