You point, it reads
OrCam Technologies has launched a smartphone companion app for the OrCam MyEye 2 artificial vision device. Designed to increase the independence of blind and visually impaired users, as well as people who have difficulty reading, the wireless device uses artificial intelligence to analyse visual information and communicate it instantly to the user via audio. In addition to reading text, the OrCam MyEye 2 recognises faces and products. The Bluetooth app lets users change settings; view online tutorials; remotely control playback, with the ability to pause, rewind or fast forward the text being read; and locate their device by causing it to bleep. Featuring voice-over functionality and extra-large font sizes, the app is available for iOS devices. An Android version is in development.
Working with wildlife
The Working with Wildlife app developed by CIRIA and The Ecology Consultancy gives people in the construction sector practical advice on how to manage protected species encountered on construction sites, including badgers, bats, birds, dormice, great crested newts, otters, reptiles and water voles. As well as providing information on how to recognise different species (including photographs) and what signs to look for on-site, the updateable app includes an introduction to current legislation and a calendar showing when protected species surveys can be carried out.
Too good to waste
In the last 18 months, by signing up to the food waste prevention app Too Good To Go, Accor hotels in the UK and Ireland have
prevented more than 13,000 meals from going to waste and in the process avoided 32.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The free app enables restaurants, cafes, hotels and food retailers to sell surplus meals to local consumers at reduced prices, instead of throwing them away. When consumers log in, they see a list of participating outlets, all of which are GPS-located so people can find and buy the food closest to them.
Sign In App has launched a revamped Companion App for its iPad-based visitor management and staff sign-in solution. Introduced in 2015 as an alternative to paper visitor books, Sign In App captures and records the name and image of each visitor and each on-site staff member. Last year, the company introduced a Companion App that gives each employee a personal QR code for easier signing in. It has now added new features, including the option to record and track employees’ working hours each week; the ability for home workers or staff in branch offices to sign in to their company’s system remotely and alert colleagues they are available; and prompts for people to sign out when they leave the office.
Tapping into the wellbeing trend, Aon has announced the launch of a new digital health engagement platform and app. Based on health technology firm dacadoo’s digital health score platform, the Aon Well One app will give individual employees health scores and one-toone digital wellbeing coaching, covering everything from personal finances to lifestyle choices. They will also be able to connect virtually with colleagues to share and compare progress. Employers benefit from anonymous/aggregated data and a health score for the whole organisation that can be benchmarked against others in their industry sector.
Airport navigation by phone
Blind and partially sighted passengers can now get free 24/7 help at Gatwick via the camera on their smartphone. Using the free aira app, they can call a professionally trained agent 24 hours a day who, via the camera on the passenger’s phone, will be able to guide them through the airport, help them read documents or flight information, shop and even find their bag on the luggage carousel. Budget airline easyJet is co-funding a six-month trial of the system.
Instant translation by speech or text
Following the launch of its DayInterpreting app, which connects users to professional interpreters offering real-time interpretation services, Day Translations has updated its eponymous app with a speech recognition capability. This enables users to speak into their phone and receive instant, free translations. As the user speaks, the app transcribes their words into the speaker’s own language and the language selected for translation. The user can read the translated message or select the speech button to have it read aloud in any one of 100 or more languages. Day Translations CEO Sean Hopwood said: “Imagine travelling to Italy to meet a long-lost uncle. Forty years ago, you would have had to search for someone in the area who could translate for you. Now, you can enjoy a meal at a Venetian cafe and have a conversation with one another without needing to understand a single word of the foreign language.” Day Translations offers a full suite of language services including interpreting, localisation services, ertified translations and transcription services via a network of more than 10,000 language specialists.
To help remote workers stay connected with colleagues, TeleWare has added instant messaging (IM) and group messaging functions to its Re:Call business communications app. Launched last year, Re:Call allows users to keep business communications separate from personal conversations on the same device. IM for Re:Call will allow users to send time stamped messages in real time and see when a message has been read and when a person is typing. Re:Call group messaging will allow users to create group conversations amongst colleagues, customers and clients.