Microsoft’s Saqib Shaikh, lead on Seeing AI, is returning to Sight Tech Global, Dec. 1-2

At last year’s inaugural Sight Tech Global event, a virtual event dedicated to applications of AI and related tech to accessibility for people who are blind, one of the most popular sessions belonged to Saqib Shaikh. The Microsoft engineer co-founded and leads the Seeing AI mobile app, which embeds a remarkable number of services beneficial to people who are blind, from reading documents and signs, to recognizing friends, grocery items, currency notes and even exploring photos by touch.

We’re delighted that Shaikh will make a return appearance at this year’s Sight Tech Global. Register now for the free, virtual event on December 1-2.

Shaikh describes his work as “a conversation between the blind community and the engineers/scientists at Microsoft — understanding the daily challenges our customers face and what emerging technologies could be leveraged to create novel solutions.”

In the past year, Shaikh’s team has been adding features at a fast pace. Most recently they have created an audio augmented reality experience to assist with exploring an unfamiliar environment. It recognizes things in the world and places them in 3D space. When wearing headphones, items will be announced from their position in the room, such as the word “chair” coming from the chair itself. Users can place virtual audio beacons on objects to track the location of the door, for example, and use the haptic proximity sensor to feel the outline of the room.

All of this is made possible by combining the latest advances in AR, computer vision and the iPhone 12 Pro’s lidar sensor.

At Sight Tech Global, Shaikh will discuss the Seeing AI team’s work to combine these remarkable technologies that promise to improve the independence of folks with vision loss, and describe the team’s latest steps toward this audio augmented reality experience, and paint a vision for the future of assistive agents.

Don’t forget to register now. Sight Tech Global is free, virtual and global.

Sight Tech Global is a production of the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We’re grateful to current sponsors Ford, Google, Humanware, Microsoft, Mojo Vision, Facebook and Vispero. If you would like to sponsor the event, please contact us. All sponsorship revenues go to the nonprofit Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which has been serving the Silicon Valley area for 75 years.

If you’re intrigued by Seeing AI, enjoy this wonderful video that captures a slice of life for a blind musician who depends on Seeing AI every day.