The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has developed a free, downloadable application (app) to assist the blind and visually impaired denominate U.S. currency. The app is called EyeNote.
EyeNote is a mobile device app designed for Apple iPhone (3G, 3Gs, 4) and the 4th Generation iPod Touch and iPad2 platforms, and is available through the Apple iTunes App Store. Research indicates that more than 100,000 blind and visually impaired individuals currently own an iPhone.
EyeNote uses image recognition technology to determine a note’s denomination. The mobile device’s camera requires 51 percent of a note’s scanned image, front or back, to process. In a matter of seconds, EyeNote can provide an audible or vibrating response, and can denominate all Federal Reserve notes issued since 1996. Free downloads will be available whenever new U.S. currency designs are introduced.
The EyeNote app is one of a variety of measures the government is working to deploy to assist the visually impaired community to denominate currency, as proposed in a recent Federal Register notice.
These measures include implementing a Currency Reader Program, whereby a United States resident who is blind or visually impaired may obtain a coupon that can be applied toward the purchase of a device to denominate United States currency; continuing to add large, high-contrast numerals and different background colors to redesigned currency; and possibly adding raised, tactile features to redesigned currency, which would provide users with a means of identifying each denomination via touch. More information is available at www.eyenote.gov.