Haleon, Microsoft AI improves product accessibility for the visually impaired

Haleon, a global leader in consumer health, and Microsoft Corp. announced a new partnership to make everyday health more accessible to people who are blind, have low vision or have difficulty reading product labels due to low literacy. Together, the companies are expanding functionality in the Microsoft Seeing AI app to provide consumers with more detailed label information for more than 1,500 Haleon products in the US and UK. Seeing AI is a free mobile app designed to help people who struggle with help by telling the world around them.

With the app, people hear packaging information by scanning the barcode of Haleon products. This provides an audio readout of important information such as the product name, ingredients and usage instructions

The Seeing AI app was developed by a team of Microsoft engineers, led by project lead and technical manager Saqib Shaikh, who lost his sight at the age of seven and was driven to develop the app by his passion for using technology to save life of people to improve.

Saqib Shaikh, engineering manager at Microsoft, said: “I am very excited about the launch of this enhanced product recognition functionality, co-developed with Haleon. Seeing AI’s intelligent barcode scanner plays audio cues to help you find the barcode, and now the information displayed for Haleon products comes directly from the manufacturer, with more comprehensive information including usage instructions and ingredients. This can be invaluable for someone who can’t read the label, leading to greater independence.”

Katie Williams, US chief marketing officer at Haleon added: “We believe everyone should have access to self-care products, services and the information they need to make informed, proactive choices about their health needs. Haleon started this partnership with Microsoft through the Seeing AI app to make consumer health more accessible, attainable and inclusive. We are proud to bring better everyday health within reach for the blind and visually impaired.”

The Seeing AI app is free to download from the Apple App Store and will be available for Android in the future. To use Seeing AI on Haleon’s products, users must hold their phone camera over the packaging barcode. The app reads out the product name and all text on the packaging. Users can move forward or back to the relevant section they want to listen to, such as what flavor or how to use the product. Haleon barcode functionality will launch in the US and UK first, with plans to expand globally and add more languages ​​in the future.

Cap: Microsoft Seeing AI app scans Sensodyne barcode for health information.

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