Google's Lookout is now finally available for download, though it's only compatible with Pixel devices in the US set to English at the moment. The application was first announced at Google's annual I/O Conference in 2018 and was designed to help the blind and visually impaired navigate their surroundings. It comes with three modes: Explore, Shopping and Quick Read. Explore, its default mode, gives users audio cues about their environment, telling them if there's a chair or a cute dog blocking the way, for instance.
Shopping can read barcodes and currency, giving users a way to, say, make sure they're truly holding a $5 bill. Finally, Quick Read can read signs and labels, making it easy to find Exit doors or goods in a grocery store. In other words, the app can be especially useful for learning the layout of a new space for the first time, or for reading documents and completing daily tasks around the house.
Users only have to fire up the application once to use Lookout -- they don't have to tap any other button in-app. They only have to make sure their Pixel's camera is facing out by holding their device, placing it in their shirt pocket or hanging it from a lanyard around their neck. Google admits that it's still far from perfect, but those who believe that the app can help them out can download it from Google Play. The company says it's hoping to make the application more accessible, so it could eventually make its way to to more devices, countries and platforms in the future.