RealSAM In Your Pocket image

RealSAM In Your Pocket is a new, first-of-its-kind fully voice-activated smartphone, media player and personal assistant for people with sight loss.

The assistive technology is the result of a two-year collaboration between the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), O2 and Australian Artificial Intelligence developers RealThing AI.

Together, the collaboration identified the need for a portable device, specifically for the visually impaired, that combines technologies to aid safety and independence.

Developed with input from the blind community, RealSAM In Your Pocket harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and features a simple accessible voice interface, where users can ask ‘SAM’ for help in everyday life.

This includes turning on its inbuilt video magnifier when reading labels while shopping, or its custom-built navigation software that allows users to bookmark landmarks when travelling alone and be guided back with direction and distance.

Roger Wilson-Hinds has both sight and hearing loss and volunteered as part of the development team for RealSAM In Your Pocket.

Commenting on the features that have helped him most during recent months, he said: “There’s no doubt that RealSAM In Your Pocket was an essential companion to me during the recent lockdown. My wife and I were able to enjoy daily walks, continue to shop for ourselves and stay connected to our grandchildren, without relying on the help of carers.

“What I love about the advances we’re seeing with artificial intelligence is that everything is focused on making the user experience simpler. And for people with a disability who want to live independently, this simplicity really is the most important thing.”

SAM also connects directly to Be My Eyes, an online community of over two million volunteers who help people with sight loss through a live video call.

RNIB expects that over four million people will be living with sight loss in the UK by the year 2050, with those affected more likely to experience reduced wellbeing and independence compared to the rest of the population.

RealSAM helps users with sight loss carry out daily tasks more easily, both increasing their wellbeing and independence.

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