Mobile app that identifies banknotes from more than 100 currencies
- Cash Reader
- Hayaku s.r.o.
- Country of Implementation
- Czech Republic
- Central and Eastern Europe
- Start Year
- First published
“Cash Reader makes banknotes accessible to strengthen the independence of visually impaired worldwide.” Tomas Jelinek, Founder, Cash Reader
In 2019, Hayaku – a start-up company based in Brno, Czech Republic – launched Cash Reader, a smartphone app that enables persons with visual impairments to identify banknotes from many countries. The user points their smartphone’s camera at a banknote and the app announces the currency and denomination, either through speech or vibration patterns. The basic version is free, and the full version is a subscription or payment model. In 2021, Cash Reader was able to identify more than 100 currencies.
People with visual impairments can find it difficult to identify banknotes when running a business or when paying with cash.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Cash Reader is an app available on iOS or Android phones that identifies banknote values for almost every currency globally. Users point their smartphone’s camera at the banknote and the app informs them of the value, either using speech or vibration patterns, which provides more security in public places. The app can read even a small portion of a bank note at almost any distance and at various angles or light conditions thanks to Artificial Intelligence and deep learning. To make this happen, over 10,000 photos are taken of each type of banknote in circulation to account for different conditions and surroundings. By 2021, Cash Reader has been used by more than 150,000 people around the world. The technology has also been implemented into third-party devices aimed at visually impaired or elderly people, such as smart glasses and specialized phones.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Hayaku offers the basic version of Cash Reader for free, and a subscription model that is targeted towards companies. The full version is available as a monthly or yearly subscription ($4 to $12) or one-time purchase ($14 to $28). The pricing is different depending on the standard of living in each region. The money-reading technology is also being licenced as an easy-to-integrate Software Development Kit for companies, such as when integrating into smart glasses. The company employs six blind “ambassadors” in places such as Argentina, China, and India to promote the Cash Reader in their region, as well as to perform necessary translations and organize business opportunities. In the coming years Hayaku aims to collect banknotes from African and Asian countries, with a long-term goal of making every banknote in the world accessible.