Taobao tech improves online shopping for visually-impaired


27th January 2019

Taobao tech improves online shopping for visually-impaired

by Dan O’Shea

Dive Brief:

  • Alibaba’s Taobao online marketplace in China has adopted new technology to improve the shopping experiences of blind and sight-impaired users, including an artificial intelligence-enabled feature that reads text written on webpage images, according to Alibaba’s news site Alizila.
  • The report stated that Taobao, which has about 300,000 daily active users who are blind or have partial vision, has been using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology on its shopping pages since late last year.
  • An Alibaba technology specialist told Alizila that the typical product page on Taobao has about 40 images, many with descriptions within them. By last month, OCR was being used to read image-based text on almost 100 million images daily.

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