Google’s Lookout app is now available for download, but only in the U.S., and only for owners of Pixel devices.
The AI-powered app, which has been undergoing testing since it was originally announced in May 2018, is designed to help blind and visually impaired people by identifying the objects around them.
Lookout is easy to use: Once the app is started, all the user needs to do is point the phone forward. The app will identify people, text, objects and more as you move around and tell you what it sees. The app won’t swarm the user with unnecessary info, though, but rather only tell them about the things it thinks are important.
In a blog post announcing the launch, Google points out that, once the app is started (which can be done by asking Google’s Assistant to “start Lookout”) there’s no need to tap any further buttons. The company also suggests that the users either hang their Pixel phone around their neck or place it in a shirt pocket.
The app has three modes of operation: Explore, which is best for daily tasks and chores, as well as new places. The app starts in this mode by default. The Shopping mode is meant to help with barcodes and currency, while the Quick read mode is best for sorting mail as well as reading signs and labels. The app recognizes some special gestures; you can read more about them as well as the various modes of operation on Google’s help page for Lookout.
Google says that the app won’t always work with 100 percent accuracy, and that it will continue to develop the app as it gets more feedback from users.
If you’re in the U.S. and own a Pixel, you can download Lookout for free, right now. Google says it’s working to bring the app to more devices, countries and platforms soon.