The IDEAL Currency Identifier is an app you can bank on

Photo Courtesy of The Ideal Group

Have you ever wished you had an easy way to count money? Well, there’s an app for that.

IDEAL Currency Identifier is a free Android app that scans U.S. currency and states the number on the bill. It has been recommended for blind and visually impaired shoppers.

The app was created by IDEAL Group and the Android Team, as well as the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Center within the U.S. Department of Education, the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center, the  Appfactory, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing within the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Place the bill on a flat surface under good light before you use the app. Keep in mind you also need to have a text-to-speech voice feature installed on your smart phone for the app to work.

Then open the app (keep in mind the app may take 30 to 45 seconds to load). Hold the phone over the bill as though you were taking a photograph of it with your smart phone. The app will state the denomination of the bill.

The app, which is free, can read U.S. currency dating back to 1993. However, wrinkles on the bill and lighting conditions can slow the identification process for the app. In some cases, it may not be identified or may be misidentified.

IDEAL has had luck in the Google Play store. The app has received between 1,000 and 5,000 downloads, according to the Google Play website. It has a 5-star rating from 22 people, and a number of reviews lauding its accuracy. One user wrote that the app works much better than Looktel, even in bad light.

The identifier is compatible with Android 4X devices with rear-facing cameras. No Internet connection is required to identify the bills.

Want to learn more about IDEAL Currency Identifier? The video below demonstrates how to use the app.

Post written by Steph Solis, MABVI blog manager and development intern.

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Pressing Need The number of seniors with low vision is expected to double by 2030, as the “baby boomers” experience sight loss such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Low vision makes it difficult to complete activities of daily living, puts elders at increased risk of falls, and complicates health care compliance. There is a pressing need for low vision services today more than ever, to ensure people with vision loss can continue to live the lives they want. Elders are the fastest-growing and most vulnerable population of persons with sight loss. Four of the five major causes of blindness are directly related to the aging process: age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. According to data published by the Commission for the Blind and the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, there are an estimated 105,000 elders in Massachusetts with serious sight loss who cannot receive state-funded services because they are not “legally blind.” Nevertheless, their vision impairment is serious, and without appropriate intervention, can have a devastating impact on their independence.

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