Advances in technology have enabled a quick and convenient means for blind and visually impaired individuals to determine a note’s denomination by using their personal mobile devices. The BEP has contributed to the development of two such applications:
EyeNote® is a free mobile device application developed by the BEP as an aid for blind or visually impaired individuals to identify denominations of Federal Reserve notes. It uses image recognition technology and the device’s integrated camera to recognize a Federal Reserve note and communicate the note’s denomination back to the user. Eyenote® is built on the Apple iOS platform and is available to download on the Apple App Store℠.
In December 2013 the BEP updated the EyeNote® app, originally released in 2011. The updated version, EyeNote® 2.0, utilizes a continuous scan function with no need to hold the device still or capture a photo. Once it scans the note it denominates the currency. EyeNote® 2.0 also utilizes VoiceOver for vocal and gesture feedback if it is turned on for the target iOS device. The press release announcing Version 2.0 can be viewed here.
Other EyeNote® Features
- Runs without any special filters or background material
- Does not require a data connection – all processing on device
- One touch, hand-held operation
- Recognizes U.S. currency designs from Series 1996 and forward
- Identifies face and back of note in any orientation
- Camera flash is not required
- 2 to 4 second response time
- Supports English and Spanish languages
- Privacy mode communicates results with an audible beep or pulse pattern
EyeNote® does not authenticate a note as being either genuine or counterfeit. Please refer to the license agreement on the Apple App Store℠ for additional information. Directions regarding installing and using the EyeNote® app can be viewed here.
The BEP, in collaboration with the Department of Education, assisted in the development of the IDEAL® Currency Identifier, a free downloadable app that operates on the Android platform. It uses text-to-speech voice and advanced image recognition technology to read a note and, in a matter of seconds, provides users with an audible response indicating the note’s denomination. IDEAL works locally on the device and needs no Internet connectivity. This application was not designed to, and does not, identify counterfeit currency.
The launch of these apps is not in lieu-of the other accommodations the government is developing to assist blind and visually impaired individuals in denominating U.S. currency. These apps simply provide another option for the public, who are increasingly using mobile devices, to independently denominate U.S. currency.