By Tai Blas
Recently, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving released the EyeNote iPhone application. This app is designed to identify currency for blind users. This is a free application. I decided to test the app to see how accurately it could identify currency.
First, I used the app store on my iPhone to search for EyeNote. I downloaded and installed it in less than three minutes using the AT&T 3G network. Once installed, I double tapped on the app and immediately heard instructions on its use. This message was quite lengthy and, unfortunately, there was no good way to repeat only a portion of the instructions. If I wanted to hear part of the message, I had to listen to the entire thing again, attempting to memorize or write down all of the instructions at once. I was directed: “Tap to begin. After beep, steady the note six to eight inches in front of the camera.”
I am assuming that the back-facing camera is preferred for this function, although this was not stated. After focusing the note, the next step is to tap once. You should hear the camera shutter click while the money is being recognized. I double tapped to begin, and the iPhone beeped and vibrated in my hand. I tapped again and heard the camera shutter indicating that a picture of the bill had been taken.
The app then stated “error, reposition,” in halted and unclear speech. I had to repeat this process four times before the bill was recognized. This was a rather time-consuming process when compared with use of the iBill stand-alone device ($99) or the Money Reader iPhone app by LookTel ($1.99).