Qatari Money Reader: Updated app empowers visually impaired and elderly
Reading bank notes correctly is one of the many challenges faced by persons with visual impairments, often including the elderly.
In Qatar, a recently launched update of the smartphone application, Qatari Money Reader, helps the visually impaired with reading, identifying, and counting their cash when making purchases.
The application features accessible notifications, providing users with the high degree of privacy protection required in such transactions, and contributing to an independent shopping experience for the visually impaired.
The Qatari Money Reader lets users collect and organize their notes and calculate the total value based on quick scans with a mobile phone.
It tells the user the value of each note in either Arabic or English, facilitating cash transactions without depending on eyesight, visual assistance, or adequate viewing conditions.
The app can also detect different currencies. The reader identifies all Qatari riyal (QAR), Euro (EUR), US dollar (USD) and British pound sterling (GBP) notes using the phone’s camera in real time and without having to connect to the Internet.
Should users need to convert currencies or comprehend the monetary value of a product or service, the app contains exchange-rate conversion, which was recently added to the app, to facilitate such processes. Additional features include a “detecting” mode that can differentiate genuine from fake notes under an external ultraviolet (UV) light are currently underway.
The Mada Assistive Technology Center supported the development and update of the Qatari Money Reader application through the Mada Innovation Program, as part of a suite of the innovative digital solutions aimed at ensuring independence and participation for persons with disabilities and the elderly in the community. Such apps promise a leap forward in digital inclusion, according to the Mada Center.
Inclusive app development
The development team consulted closely with visually impaired people in Qatar on all the challenges they face, said Mada Chief Executive Officer Maha Al-Mansouri.
The team continued seeking their advice through focus groups throughout the app’s development phases.
Fully funded by Mada, the reader app was launched in partnership with the Qatar Central Bank. The app also represents a success for the Mada Innovation Program, which encourages innovators and entrepreneurs to develop and produce innovative solutions in Arabic for persons with disabilities and the elderly and make these available in Arab countries.
Learn more about Mada Center.