This Free App Reads Money for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

 This free app reads money for blind and visually impaired.

EyeNote is a free app that makes U.S. paper money accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Created by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Eyenote app uses the native camera on an Apple mobile device to scan paper money. It then speaks the denomination and displays it in large numbers. The app can be voice-activated and uses "continuous recognition" technology so that there's no need to hold the phone or tablet still to capture a photo. It's easy to have the banknote in one hand and use your phone in the other. Either side of the bill works. It doesn't even matter if part of the bill is covered by your hand, although more than half of the note needs to be visible. EyeNote is not able to authenticate a note as either real or counterfeit.

Watch How EyeNote Works


  • It offers a OneTouch operation.
  • You can use it on the face or back of the note.
  • It can recognize a bill while you hold it, even if the note is partially covered.
  • It works in any circular orientation.
  • No equipment modification, unique background materials, or special lighting is required.
  • A camera flash is not needed.
  • No data connection is needed - all processing takes place on the device.
  • It works with currency designs from Series 1996 and forward.
  • The note can be on a complex background.
  • The app has a 2-4 second response time.
  • Users can select spoken language output of English or Spanish based on device language setting.
  • The spoken mode also indicates the front or back of the note to assist in vending use.
  • The on-screen instructions are simple and are audio-accessible when you activate VoiceOver in Accessibility mode.

How to Scan

A note should be six to eight inches away from the camera for it to scan successfully. The app has to scan more than half of the note to recognize it. Adequate natural or artificial lighting is necessary for proper scanning. The steadier you hold the device while scanning, the better it works. For best results, put the note on a flat surface.

App Modes and Settings

Eyenote offers Spoken and Privacy modes. In Spoken mode, the app "speaks" the note's denomination and identifies if the note's front or back was scanned. For example: "Five Dollars Front" or "One Dollar Back." If a scan isn't successful, you'll hear, "Error, Reposition."

Another option for output is the Privacy mode. Privacy mode on the iPhone uses the vibration buzzer for the pulses. But on the iPod Touch and iPad 2, Privacy mode uses an audible beep for the pulses. When in Privacy mode, the app won't speak the denomination. Instead, it communicates results back with a pulse pattern. 

Pulse patterns for EyeNote:

  • One Dollar is 1 pulse.
  • Two Dollars is 2 pulses.
  • Five Dollars is 3 pulses.
  • Ten Dollars is 4 pulses.
  • Twenty Dollars is 5 pulses.
  • Fifty Dollars is 6 pulses.
  • One Hundred Dollars is 7 pulses.
  • Error, reposition is 8 rapid pulses.

To set Privacy mode:
Go to Settings, then Sounds. Two Vibrate setting switches are on this screen. At the top of the Sounds screen, there's Silent, with a vibrate switch setting; this switch doesn't matter for the EyeNote to vibrate. Scroll down the screen, and you'll find another Vibrate switch just above Ringtone. Turn the Vibrate setting to ON for EyeNote to vibrate on an iPhone.


The Eyenote app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. EyeNote is a free app. You can download Eyenote from the iTunes App Store.