According to World Health Organization, the world’s population includes approximately 285 million people who are visually impaired, of whom 39 million are blind. Recognising a banknote is an entirely common thing for a sighted person, but it can be a major problem for a blind or visually impaired person, who must rely on sighted people to verify the type and denomination of a banknote. Cash Reader, which is available for both Android and iOS, solves this problem. The app can speak the denomination just by pointing the phone’s camera at a banknote. In this article, i’ll review Cash Reader and explain why it’s the best money reader app for the blind. Let’s cut to the chase.
What is Cash Reader? Why should you download it?
Cash Reader is a money identifier app that helps the visually impaired, including those who are totally blind, to identify the value of money. The app can identify currency and value in real-time, even from a small portion of a bill. This is important for people with disabilities such as blindness or coordination disorder, but it also provides a fast and reliable experience to users without disabilities.
Cash Reader can reliably identify all banknotes in circulation for more than 90 currencies, and developers are continually adding more.
Cash Reader works offline, under all light conditions, identifies folded or damaged bills no matter the side or angle. It provides reliable money identification even on old or low-cost phones; therefore, it can be used by almost all visually impaired people.
Cash Reader helps the visually impaired to identify the value of the notes by placing them in the view of the camera. Simply point the phone’s camera at a banknote and the app will speak or vibrate the denomination. The vibration pattern works this way: For $1, it vibrates once, $2, twice, $5, three times, $10, four times, etc. The vibrations can either be set to always or only when the device is set to silent mode. You will not hear speech in silent mode. This is a really handy feature to get the information you need without announcing to the world that you are carrying potentially huge amounts of money.
Getting Started With Cash Reader: Bill Identifier, Money Reader for the Blind
When you launch the app for the first time, you will be presented with a Getting Started area that allows you to set up the app as you wish. This includes granting access to the camera and selecting what currency you wish to identify. You can also set up shortcuts using the Getting Started section so that you can summon Siri from anywhere to use the app to identify the currency of your choice. It is even possible to set up multiple shortcuts. If you have the need to identify multiple types of cash, you can set up a shortcut for more than one type of currency. After either creating a shortcut or simply pressing the Continue button, you must agree to the terms and you can then start identifying money.
When you next launch the app, you will read what currency is presently being identified. If you swipe right, you will find a Settings button that will give you many options that may be worth exploring. When you tap on the settings button, a list of options, organized by heading, is displayed. Most of these options aren’t part of the setup process, but one exception is the type of currency being recognized. If you want, for example, the app to recognize all the currencies it can, you must download another file from their server. The app will tell you that it is trying to recognize 1 of over 568 banknotes, so it’s important to be sure to get more of the bill in the camera’s focus.
The next setting allows you to decide whether you wish to also have haptic feedback from the app communicate the denomination of the banknote. When you open this setting, you will find the option to learn what each series of vibrations means when a bill is recognized. One vibration or haptic will be given for the lowest denomination, two for the second lowest, and so on. You can configure this mode to always be enabled, always be disabled, or determined by the position of the hardware silent switch on the device; if the switch is toggled to silent mode, denominations will not be spoken, and if it isn’t, they will be spoken. This mode can be especially useful in public or loud environments, where you may not want to broadcast how much money you’re carrying around at the given time.
The next heading allows you to record a Siri shortcut for the recognition of each form of currency. From this section of the settings, you can record a phrase that Siri will recognize to launch the app or select an alternative currency for identification. For example, you can recorded a shortcut to open the app and identify US dollars by engaging Siri and saying, “Identifythe this bill”
Beyond that are several low vision settings to adjust contrast. The next heading allows the user to automatically enable the flashlight when your device determines it’s in a dark environment. Following these settings, the user can configure the option to disable the beeps that will let you know the app is actively scanning. A muted phone, in this case, means a muted app.
Next you have the option to speak either the denomination of the bill or both denomination and type of currency. If you’re working with only one currency, it may not be necessary for VoiceOver to announce it for each bill. This section is where you can choose whether or not the name of the currency is spoken, or just the denomination, for example, 10 American dollars versus simply 10.
You can also choose between the front and back facing cameras. Silent mode will simply send a vibration and not speak the denomination of currency. You can also set this to respect your mute switch. There are also options to send a link to a friend to download the app, the ability to view their various social media accounts and the option to add a button to the main screen. If you know Cash Reader is misidentifying money, you can send a photo of that particular banknote as well as the surrounding environment so that the developers can investigate the issue and improve recognition accuracy in the future. However, in my testing, i have not yet, to my knowledge, encountered inaccurate bill identification, and thus haven’t used this feature.
Lastly, there is an option to re-run the tutorial, which is the first setup screen I discussed.
More Than 100 Currencies
Candidly speaking, my biggest criticism about money identifier apps for the blind is the lack of support for different currencies. Very few of them are capable of delivering a complete money reading solution. But that is not the case with Cash Reader as it not only boasts over 110,000 users around the world but can read currencies from more than 100 countries in 34 languages. In addition, the developers of Cash Reader are committed to releasing updates, with the last one being a few weeks prior to the writing of this article. This is reassuring, as new types of banknotes get released from time to time. Since Cash Reader supports the identification of over 100 currencies, it would seem updates would be vital. Due to the fact that so many types of money are recognized, it’s not practical to list them all. You can find a complete list in the app, or by visiting the App page in the Google Play or iOS App Store.
To test its efficiency, I threw many challenges at it. The first one was to see how well it’s able to recognize various US dollar bills on iPhone. While many other money identifier apps can get it done, very few can do it with precision. Frankly speaking, I would say that Cash Reader passed this test with pretty good results. It performed the task fast and with the desired proficiency.
The next challenge that I put before Cash Reader is to check its ability to recognize bills when the device is on silent mode. Again, not many money reader apps can get through it proficiently. So, I was keen to see how well it fares. Again, the results were excellent. The denominations value were transformed into a series of haptic vibrations. This feature helps blind and visually impaired to swiftly identify and count money even in noisy environments or when privacy is needed. .
Another challenge that I put before Cash Reader is to check its ability to identify currency under different lighting conditions. Then I was pleasantly surprised to find that Cash Reader enables the torch automatically in a dark environment. I used six different bills for currency identification including a US dollar, Kenyan shillings and Nigerian Naira. The app was tested in three different lighting conditions: two indoors and one in sunlight. To prove its efficiency, i played with it showing all kinds of banknotes – folded, new, old and extremely used. To my surprise, the app read all my bills with precision.
Ease of use
I have tried a ton of money reader apps from feature-rich to lightweight. From what I have experienced, I can say that only a few of them are easy-to-use. In addition, most of them demand a steep learning curve that kind of spoils the whole experience. For first-time users with no technical background, Cash Reader is a boon. The best part of this money identifier app is that it comes with clear descriptions under each feature. When a single type of currency is selected, recognition takes less than a second for each bill. Unlike other money identifier for the blind, Cash Reader allows you to find out what denomination of bill you have without having to use a braille display, doesn’t require you to hear VoiceOver, and allows you to discretely identify money as needed. So, whether you are into currency identifying games professionally or have to deal with payper money once in a blue moon, you can get through your job without being enmeshed into any complexity.
Needless to say but I wish to emphasize that Cash Reader works perfectly on major smartphone OS. So, regardless of which side of the stream you belong to – iOS or Android, – You can easily recognize currency with your smartphone at anytime and anywhere. That’s the advantage of being a modern money identification app.
The Bottom Line: Should I Buy Cash Reader?
If you need a reliable money identifier app, Cash Reader is a great choice. I was able to get consistent results, even in total darkness. While other money reader apps are quite capable, the speed of Cash Reader simply blows my mind. The app identifies currency very quickly. Each time I initiated the identification process, it was done in less than a second. After my testing, i can confirm that Cash Reader is a very efficient currency identification app for those who often need to deal with paper money and want to have reliable tool to get the job done with the needed precision. The vibration feedback is incredibly useful, especially for deafblind users. If you are looking for a good money reader app for the blind that works on iOS and Android, you cannot go wrong with Cash Reader.
How Do I Download Cash Reader?
Cash Reader is free to download, and in Free mode, it identifies only the two lowest denomination banknotes. The user can purchase the Full version to identify all notes without limits.
Cash Reader: Bill Identifier, is available on both iOS and Android. In US, however, the application costs US$17.99 for iPhone users and $16 for Android for lifetime usage. Users can alternatively subscribe to monthly or yearly packages, or use a 14-day free trial.
Download Cash Reader for iOS
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Currency Identification Made Easy!
cash Reader makes it easy to identify currency using your iOS or Android device. We are sure this Cash Reader is the best money reading app for blind and visually impaired. If you have any other questions about this app or our Cash Reader review, leave us a comment down below.