A new mobile application, dubbed ‘Omani Currency Reader’ has been launched in the Sultanate, enabling visually-impaired people to detect various denominations of the Omani rial.
Sponsored by Al Noor Association for Blind in Oman and developed in partnership with UK-based company Innovation Factory Limited, the free-to-download app allows users to detect currency by using the camera on the phone.
The ‘Omani Currency Reader’ uses the phone camera to read and analyse the note held in front of it in real time. After detecting the denomination, the application reads the currency value aloud either in English or Arabic – depending on the settings. Although there are other similar applications, they have not proved to be accurate in identifying Omani currency denominations.
The app is expected to aid visually-impaired individuals to become more independent when dealing with financial transactions. More than 1,000 users have already begun using this application in Oman.
“I was anxiously waiting for this application, and thanks to technology, visually-impaired people can now do any kind of job such as accounting, journalism, reading and writing, among others,” said Sheikha Al Jassasi, an Omani translator, who is visually impaired but can carry out day-to-day activities normally without assistance from others. “We can now even engage in social media and give our opinions, and this application is something that really helps a lot.”
It is also equipped with fake currency detection capabilities for more reliable use. The app has proven to be highly accurate and can work offline, according to users. It was launched on November 29 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Al Noor Association, under the patronage of the Minister of Information.
Anwar Almojarkesh is the brain behind the application, who is also the chief executive officer and founder of Braci Limited and a participant in the Arabic TV series, ‘Stars of Science’, where he developed an assistive pillow for the hearing impaired.