Voice-activated tech set to transform the lives of 2 million people with sight loss
A unique fully voice-activated smartphone, media player and personal assistant for people with sight loss has launched in the UK – RealSAM In Your Pocket.
Developed with input from the blind community, RealSAM In Your Pocket features a simple accessible voice interface, where users can ask ‘SAM’ for help in everyday life. This includes turning on its inbuilt video magnifier when reading labels while shopping, or its custom-built navigation software that allows users to bookmark landmarks when travelling alone and be guided back with direction and distance.
SAM also connects directly to Be My Eyes, an online community of over two million volunteers who help people with sight loss through a live video call.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) expects that over four million people will be living with sight loss in the UK by the year 2050, with those affected more likely to experience reduced wellbeing and independence compared to the rest of the population.
RealSAM will help people with sight loss carry out everyday activities more easily, both increasing their wellbeing and independence.
Roger Wilson-Hinds has both sight and hearing loss and volunteered as part of the development team for RealSAM In Your Pocket.
Commenting on the features that have helped him most during recent months, he said: “There’s no doubt that RealSAM In Your Pocket was an essential companion to me during the recent lockdown. My wife and I were able to enjoy daily walks, continue to shop for ourselves and stay connected to our grandchildren, without relying on the help of carers.”
RealSAM In Your Pocket is the result of a two-year collaboration between the RNIB, O2 and Australian Artificial Intelligence developers RealThing AI that identified the need for a portable device, specifically for the visually impaired, that combines technologies to aid safety and independence.