Microsoft Seeing Ai to partner with Haleon to make health products more accessible

A closeup of a person using a smartphone screen reader to read a vitamin bottle label

The seeing Ai app is getting an update which will deliver curated information about certain health products, making them more accessible. Microsoft, the producer of the Seeing Ai app will be partnering with Haleon, a manufacturer of common health products like Sensodyne, Centrum, Aquafresh, ChapStick and Emergen-C. This will be a welcome enhancement to the functionality of Seeing Ai, and hopefully other reader apps will follow suit. 

Brand Marketing

The rules of marketing and product packaging don’t always work for those with visual impairments. When designing packaging for a product, psychology is implemented, knowing that the customer will have their eye drawn toward the darkest, largest and most prominent thing on the package (the dominant object). This doesn’t work when a screen reader is reviewing a product for someone who can’t see. As an example, let’s look at this Altoids can.  The Altoids logo is the first thing the customer sees, then the curiously strong mints and Cinnamon lines have nearly the same weight. This means that someone picking up the tin will see the brand name first, then be informed that the tin contains mints that are strong and the flavor. When put under a screen reader, the output says “The original celebrated Altoids curiously strong mints, artificially flavored cinnamon then the weight”. The screen reader doesn’t understand line weight or customer reading psychology, it just delivers the text on the package in top to bottom left to right format. 

 With screen readers working with brands, they can deliver the information to the user in the proper way when a recognized product is scanned. This is a good partnership because brands can have a say in the way their products are represented for (presumably) a monetary contribution which goes to fund further  development of the application. This kind of partnership is something that all text reader apps should pursue with manufacturers. When the reader recognizes the label of a known product, the information that is delivered to the user can be tailored in such a way as to deliver the appropriate information in an appropriate way., making the app more useful and ensuring the product information is delivered properly. This is a win win situation for all involved. 

Seeing Ai upgrade

To mark World Sight Day on 13th October, Haleon and Microsoft are launching a joint project to make health products more accessible for blind and visually impaired consumers, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that narrates the labels of products.

New enhancements in the free Microsoft Seeing AI app will help advance inclusivity and improve accessibility, they say.

Across the UK and USA, consumers will be able to hear important label information for over 1500 everyday consumer health products such as Sensodyne, Centrum, Aquafresh, ChapStick and Emergen-C. Haleon, a global leader in consumer health, will be participating in a Brand Challenge at the upcoming AIPIA World Congress on 14/15 November, in Amsterdam.

Let’s hope this type of collaboration continues and this is the first step toward making all products accessible for blind and visually impaired users. 

If you would like more information about the enhancements coming to the Seeing Ai app you can click the link below.

Before you go…

What screen reader do you use? do you find one that works better over another? Let’s talk about it, feel free to drop me a message on my social media links below or right here on Blind Travels. 


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About the author

Ted Tahquechi is a blind photographer, travel influencer, disability advocate and photo educator based in Denver, Colorado. You can see more of Ted’s work at

Ted operates Blind Travels, a travel blog designed specifically to empower blind and visually impaired travelers.

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