The vOICe for Android

Contains ads
3.9
1.45K reviews
100K+
Downloads
Content rating
Everyone
Screenshot image
Screenshot image
Screenshot image
Screenshot image
Screenshot image
Screenshot image
Screenshot image
Screenshot image

About this app

See with your ears! The vOICe for Android maps live camera views to soundscapes, offering augmented reality and unprecedented visual detail for the totally blind through sensory substitution and computer vision. Also includes live talking OCR, a talking color identifier, talking compass, talking face detector and a talking GPS locator, while Eye-D and Google Lookout object recognition can be launched from The vOICe for Android by tapping the left or right screen edge.

Is it an augmented reality game or a serious tool? It can be both, depending on what you want it to be! The ultimate goal is to provide a form of synthetic vision to the blind, but sighted users can simply have fun playing the game of sight-without-eyesight. Visually impaired users with severe tunnel vision can try if the auditory feedback helps them notice changes in the visual periphery. The vOICe for Android runs on smartphones and tablets, but is also compatible with most smart glasses, using the tiny camera in these glasses and a special user interface to generate a live sonic augmented reality overlay, hands-free! You may want to use an external battery connected via USB cable to keep the smart glasses battery from draining too quickly. You can help us by blogging and tweeting about your experiences, your use cases, and about how *you* learn to see with sound.

How does it work? The vOICe uses pitch for height and loudness for brightness in one-second left to right scans of any view: a rising bright line sounds as a rising tone, a bright spot as a beep, a bright filled rectangle as a noise burst, a vertical grid as a rhythm. Best used with stereo headphones for the most immersive experience and most detailed auditory resolution.

Just experiment with simple visual patterns first, because real-life imagery is extremely complex. Randomly drop a bright item such as a DUPLO brick on a dark table top, and learn to reach for it through sound alone (close your eyes if you have eyesight). Next try and explore your own safe home environment, and learn to associate the complex sound patterns with what you already know is there. Sighted users can also use the app with Google Cardboard compatible devices through a swipe-down on the main screen to toggle the binocular view.

For serious users: learning to see with sound is like learning a foreign language or learning to play a musical instrument, really challenging your perseverance and brain plasticity. It may well be the ultimate brain training system, bridging the senses through artificial synesthesia. A general training manual for The vOICe (not specific to the Android version) is available online at

https://www.seeingwithsound.com/manual/The_vOICe_Training_Manual.htm

and usage notes for running The vOICe for Android hands-free on smart glasses are at

https://www.seeingwithsound.com/android-glasses.htm

Do not worry about the many options of The vOICe for Android: human eyes have no buttons or options, and The vOICe is similarly designed to perform its main function out-of-the-box, so you do not have to use any options to get going. Some of the most common options appear as you slowly slide your finger across the main screen.

Why is The vOICe free? Because our foremost goal is to make a real change by lowering barriers to use as much as we can. You will find that competing technologies cost upwards of $10,000 and yet have lower specs. The perceptual resolution offered by The vOICe is unmatched even by $150,000 "bionic eye" retinal implants (PLoS ONE 7(3): e33136).

The vOICe for Android supports English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Korean and Arabic (menu Options | Language).

Please report bugs to feedback@seeingwithsound.com, and visit the web page http://www.seeingwithsound.com/android.htm for detailed description and disclaimers. We are on Twitter at @seeingwithsound.

Thank you!
Updated on
Mar 13, 2021

Data safety

Safety starts with understanding how developers collect and share your data. Data privacy and security practices may vary based on your use, region, and age. The developer provided this information and may update it over time.
This app may share these data types with third parties
Location
This app may collect these data types
Location
Data is encrypted in transit
You can request that data be deleted
3.9
1.45K reviews
Anurag Korg
April 30, 2020
It's good but I feel there is scope for improvement. Can the image to sound conversion be made more accurate. The sample rate could be slowed down. As accuracy is more important than speed.can more tones and pitch variations be produced so that a blind person create a more detailed picture of the visual information. I really like this idea it is awesome, But I hope that you could make a better more accurate version of this. It can be real blessing and game changer for the blind.
26 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Peter Meijer
April 30, 2020
Thank you Anurag. We are continuously seeking improvements. The vOICe app has options for half & double scan rate for trading off accuracy vs real-time. Experience tells that more tones is/sounds not necessarily better: The vOICe for Windows lets you experiment with that. Also cf. https://www.seeingwithsound.com/voicebme.html design considerations.
A Google user
June 7, 2019
Easiest to use text reader ever.....The reader on this is the best i have found for food cans and real world text...the other functions are pretty amazing but beyond the scooe of my know how... I THINK that a person could change their mobility and independance if they learn how to use it. The only issue i have is that when doing a cold boot the app refuses to activate camera unless wifi is availible EVEN ThOugh it runs PERFECTLY in airplane mode as long as it was started with wifi.
15 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Peter Meijer
June 7, 2019
Thank you! I cannot explain the initial need for Wifi yet, but am investigating. E.g. I cannot reproduce the problem with a cold boot & Wifi off on a Samsung Galaxy Tab E with Android 4.4.4.
A Google user
December 30, 2018
First used app on Android 2 years ago and was very basic+ hard to use.Wow how it has improved,its not too difficult to learn and interpret basic changes of environment from sounds.If you had to rely on this 24/7 as sight impaired person im sure it would be big help once you begin to learn what the sounds and clicks represent.The spoken location, navigation color functions are good.Best this app used on 3D with headphones. maybe used on remote spec mounted camera would enhance this app greatly
11 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?

What's new

v2.60: GPS-based talking locator for street names now opt-in to meet new Google requirements: activate via menu Options | Talking locator.

v2.59: Google AAB bundle release unexpectedly broke language selection: back to former APK based release.

v2.58: Language support for Portuguese added.

v2.57: Fix for screen reader not detected on some devices (needed to suppress self-voicing). Library updates.

v2.56: Extended support for Vuzix Blade smart glasses (models 447 and 494).