Currency detection app for visually-impaired in Oman
December 18, 2017 | 5:00 PM
by Syed Haitham Hasan/[email protected]
Photo: Supplied

Muscat: Visually-impaired persons can now detect various denominations of the Omani rial by placing the note in front of their mobile phones, thanks to a new mobile application called Omani Currency Reader.

Sponsored by Al Noor Association for Blind in Oman and developed in partnership with Innovation Factory Limited, a UK-based company, the free-to-download app allows users to detect currency by using the camera on the phone.

The ‘Omani Currency Reader’ uses the phone camera to read and analyse the currency note held in front of it in real time. After detecting the denomination, the application reads the currency value aloud either in English or Arabic depending on the settings. Although there are other similar applications, they have not proved to be accurate in identifying Omani currency denominations.

Photo: Supplied

The app is expected to aid visually-impaired individuals to blend into the society and become independent in financial transactions. More than 1,000 users have already begun using this application in Oman.

“I do not need anybody to help me identify if the note is of OMR1, OMR5 or OMR10.

“I was anxiously waiting for this application. Thanks to technology, visually-impaired people can now do any kind of job such as accounting, journalism, reading and writing, among others. We can now even engage in social media and give our opinions. It is something that helps a lot,” said Sheikha Al Jassasi, an Omani translator, who is visually impaired but can carry out day-to-day activities normally without assistance from others.

It is also equipped with fake currency detection capabilities for a more reliable use. The app has proven to be highly accurate and can work offline, according to users. It was launched on November 29 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Al Noor Association, under the patronage of the Minister of Information.

Anwar Almojarkesh is the brain behind the application, who is also the chief executive officer and founder of Braci Limited and a participant in the Arabic TV series, ‘Stars of Science’, where he developed an assistive pillow for the hearing impaired.

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