QAR Money Reader: A Banknote Recognition App for People with Visual Impairments

QAR Money Reader: A Banknote Recognition App for People with Visual Impairments

Research article Open access | Available online on: 08 September, 2019 | Last update: 08 September, 2019


Volume 6

Issue 06

Identifying the value of banknotes is one of the
main challenges faced by people with visual
impairments. Such challenges make it hard
to exercise basic daily activities, like needing
to seek assistance to determine the value of
such bills and to disclose sensitive personal
information (financial, identity details, etc.).
This is an area where recent advancements
in assistive technology has contributed
towards developing suitable solutions for this
community to be able to independently have
control over financial aspects of their lives.
As part of the Mada Innovation Program,
the Qatar Assistive Technology Center
(MADA) has funded and supported Innovation
Factory ltd. through its Entrepreneur
Grant to develop a Qatar specific banknote recognition application to serve people with
visual impairments.
This application recognizes and read Qatari
banknotes and supports both Arabic and English.
This solution is designed for smartphones
and uses the camera to recognize the value of
banknotes using image processing technology.
The application can read the front and back of the
banknotes from a distance of 15-50 cm. When the
banknote is recognized, the smartphone vibrates,
and the paper value is pronounced.
The app is currently available in both the Apple App
Store and the Android App Store (Google Play), which
is able to recognize multiple currency values and
collect money to give the grand total. For example, if
a user tries to recognize the value of six banknotes on
the table with different values, the application will be
able to perform an automatic calculation and notify
the user of the total amount recognized.
The application is currently fully
operational without the need for an Internet
connection, which allows the user to use it
anywhere. This application was one of the
distinctive solutions in the innovation Zone
during the Gulf Region Education Assistive
Technology Conference (GREAT 2018).
Traditionally, assistive technologies for
the blind and visually impaired community
tend to be in the form of expensive dedicated
devices (e.g. braille readers, document
magnifiers, computer screen readers,
etc.). The QAR Money Reader App intends
to offer a solution of a daily life problem
by incorporating the assistive technology
solution into a mainstream device. This
makes the solution available to much wider
range of users ultimately having a significant
impact within the blind and visually impaired

The QAR Money Reader App has the following features:
• Identify all Qatari banknotes from both sides
• Calculate the total number of banknotes automatically
• Arabic and English speakers
• Identify any banknote within one second
• Does not require Internet connectivity
• Supports different input methods: move one finger or three fingers on the
screen, shake the phone and more ways to make it easy to use
• Supports pre-set vibration patterns based on the value of the banknotes
• Supports the identification of folded banknotes
• Uses automatic flash in the dark environment
• Voice and vibration alert when recognizing banknotes’ value

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