How to use Microsoft’s Seeing AI App to Audibly Read Currency Denominations – Tip of the Day #15


In today’s tip of the day, I will be sharing with you how to use Microsoft’s Seeing AI App to audibly read currency denominations.  One area that can be a challenge for someone who is blind or visually impaired is being able to differentiate between the various denominations of United States currency. When it comes to currency accessibility the Unites States falls far behind the curve. All the bills no matter what the denomination tactically feel the same and visually look very similar. Making it impossible for someone who can’t see the bill well enough to read the number to tell how much each bill is worth. Fortunately there are some ways to navigate this problem.

Pile of one dollar bills layered on top of each other.
Pile of one dollar bills

Ways of Determining Currency Denomination

There are several different ways for someone who is blind or visually impaired to tell the different bills apart which range from asking someone sighted (make sure you trust them) to using a standalone bill reader devices or apps designed for smartphones. Today’s tip is on one of those apps, Microsoft’s Seeing AI. Seeing AI is a great free app created by Microsoft that is available on the ios app store for iPhones and iPads. The app uses the camera of the phone in conjunction with the app itself to accomplish different tasks which include audibly reading currency denominations.

How to use Microsoft Seeing AI App

Once the app is downloaded onto a device it is very easy to get to the currency reader function activated. You can download it here. Below is a step by step instruction guide that is geared for someone who is using voiceover. If you are interested in more voiceover tutorials you can click here.

Step 1: Locate the Seeing AI app on the home screen. Once found double-tap with one finger to open the app.

Step 2: Swipe right 5x with one finger until it says “Channel Short Text”. You are now in the channel menu bar at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: Swipe up with one finger 5x until it says currency, once it says currency the feature is now activated.

Step 4: Point the camera on the front of the phone towards the bill you want audibly read. It will automatically read the denomination without having to press or swipe.

a $20 dollar bill a $5 dollar bill and a $1 dollar bill on a table with an iPhone using Microsoft Seeing AI to read the $1 dollar bill.
3 bills on a table,Microsoft Seeing AI reading a $1 dollar bill

Final Thoughts

A few more things to note the currency reader is very forgiving in regards to the cameras orientation and distance away from the bill. Which I find to be super helpful because it can be challenging to aim the camera if you are unable to see where it is pointing. And finally, as of the time I am writing this, there are 6 different currencies the app can read.

Indian Rubies

British Pounds

Canadian Dollars


U.S. Dollars

Japanese Yen

Overall, I find Microsoft’s Seeing AI app to be a great tool for easily reading currency denominations audibly. If you have an iPhone or iPad I highly recommend checking out the currency reading feature as well as the other awesome features.

To learn how to use magnifier feature on an iPhone or iPad for Orientation and Mobility check out my video tutorial.

I hope you found today’s tip of the day helpful. Please feel free to comment below or send me an email at If you have any tips you think would be worth sharing also please let me know. Have a wonderful day! For more tips of the day visit here.

Published by Mike Mulligan

Is a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist who provides product resources, reviews, and tutorials.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: