Success Story

Developing an AI-enabled mobile app for visually and hearing impaired to identify the denomination of Indian currency notes

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the central bank of India that manages all major monetary policies of India and handles the economic stability and growth. RBI was set up in 1935 under the Reserve Bank of India Act,1934 and since then RBI has been playing an important part in the Development Strategy of the Government of India. It is also a member bank of the Asian Clearing Union.

  • 2M+ Downloads
  • 99.9% Accuracy
  • 150,000 Size of Training Dataset

Business Situation

In 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced a series of new currency notes, ranging from INR 10 to 2,000, each distinguished by unique embedded features. These features were designed to facilitate easy identification.

For the visually impaired, tactile markers and embossments on the notes served as vital cues for determining denominations. However, these markers often deteriorate with regular use, posing challenges for those relying on touch. To tackle this issue, RBI turned to a technological solution. The requirement was to develop a mobile application that would help the visually and hearing impaired to identify denominations of currency notes through voice/sonic and vibration patterns.

To execute this initiative, RBI zeroed in on Daffodil Software after a rigorous partner selection process as their technology partner, who would be responsible for managing the technical and functional aspects of the project.

For building the note identifier platform for RBI, Team Daffodil was expected to deliver the following:

  • Develop an intuitive user interface that seamlessly aligns with RBI's brand identity. The application should be easy to navigate, cohesive, and incorporates clear messaging to accommodate end users effectively.
  • Utilize advanced artificial intelligence techniques to achieve high accuracy in identifying currency note denominations, even in varying lighting or soilage conditions of the banknotes.
  • Integrate multiple languages into the application to enhance accessibility for impaired and hearing individuals.
  • Incorporate advanced security protocols to safeguard the application against vulnerabilities and data breaches.

The Solution

At the project’s outset, team Daffodil presented a technical proposal, project management strategies, software requirement specifications, high-level & low-level design documents, and user acceptance test cases to RBI. These documents were reviewed and approved by their technical team, allowing the development process to commence.

Image Dataset Training

To counter the usage of the app in poor internet connectivity areas, the app was required to work in the offline model. Since the app would not be able to learn by itself due to its offline nature, it was crucial for the Daffodil team to train it specifically for offline usage.

They compiled a dataset containing 150,000 images of Mahatma Gandhi series banknotes in the denomination of Rs. 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 2,000 to facilitate this training. Whenever a user scans a note, the app compares the scanned image of the note with 150,000 images in the dataset and provides accurate results in the offline mode or even in low lighting conditions.

Advanced Testing Techniques

Additionally, the development plan incorporated security protocols such as Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing (VAPT) and Static Application Security Testing (SAST) to secure the app against vulnerabilities in both its performance and code.

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The mobile app developed by team Daffodil enables the visually and hearing impaired to perform the following actions:

  • Recognize the denominations of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series banknote (Rs. 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 2,000) by scanning either the front or backside/part of the note, even in the case of half-folded notes, at various holding angles, and under different lighting conditions (including normal, low light, and daylight).
  • Identify the denomination through an audio notification in Hindi/English and non-sonic mode such as vibration (suitable for those with vision and hearing impairment).
  • Enable seamless navigation of the mobile application using voice-activated controls such as Siri and the Talkback feature, if supported by the device and operating system, ensuring accessibility to all application features.
  • Identify the denomination of the banknotes without requiring an internet connection. The app operates offline and automatically adjusts the smartphone flashlight settings to accommodate varying lighting conditions.
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Enhanced Language Accessibility

In response to diverse linguistic needs, our solution features voice commands and voice overs in 11 regional languages. When users launch the app, they are presented with an intuitive menu displaying language options, each one being clearly announced. Users can effortlessly choose their preferred language using simple verbal instructions.

Let’s consider a native Punjabi speaker using this application. They have the flexibility to opt for Punjabi as their preferred language setting. As they scan a currency note, the app delivers a clear and audible announcement of the denomination value in Punjabi. This inclusive feature is designed to accommodate users from diverse regions, allowing them to seamlessly navigate the app in their chosen language.

Improved Accessibility with Guided Audio Support

To enhance accessibility further, the application includes a greeting audio file that guides visually impaired users through its features and usage instructions. However, integrating this audio file was challenging due to its large size. For maintaining uninterrupted offline functionality, it was imperative to uphold a minimal application size.

Our team adeptly resolved this issue through meticulous optimization, allowing the application to offer a seamless user experience while maintaining its compact design and essential features.

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Vibration Mode for Hearing & Visual Impairment

For people with hearing and visual impairments, the app has predefined number of vibrations for different denominations; one vibration for Rs. 5, two vibrations for Rs. 10, three for Rs. 20, four for Rs. 50, five for Rs. 100, six for Rs. 200, seven for Rs. 500 and eight for Rs. 2,000. If the app fails to recognize the denomination, it triggers a prolonged vibration and prompts the user to rescan the note.

Community-Centric Testing and Validation

To guarantee the accessibility and usability of the mobile application for visually and hearing impaired, we took a hands-on approach to validate our solution. Our team engaged directly with individuals from these communities, carefully selecting participants for extensive testing and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This validation process ensured that the digital platform was not only functional but genuinely easy to use, enhancing the experience for all users.

Their firsthand experiences and feedback affirmed that the application is easy to navigate and operate, reinforcing our commitment to creating technology that is accessible and beneficial for everyone.

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Flexible Interaction Options for Partial or Color-Blind Users:

Acknowledging the varied needs of our users, the application includes an additional feature “No impairment”, catering to partially or color-blind individuals. This feature allows users to opt out of the TalkBack functionality, providing a simpler and more flexible interaction method, regardless of their visual capabilities.

Community-Centric Testing and Validation

To guarantee the accessibility and usability of the mobile application for visually and hearing impaired, we took a hands-on approach to validate our solution. Our team engaged directly with individuals from these communities, carefully selecting participants for extensive testing and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This validation process ensured that the digital platform was not only functional but genuinely easy to use, enhancing the experience for all users.

Their firsthand experiences and feedback affirmed that the application is easy to navigate and operate, reinforcing our commitment to creating technology that is accessible and beneficial for everyone.

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Support and Feedback Setup

The app simplifies user interaction by enabling support requests and feedback submissions via SMS or missed calls, both seamlessly embedded within the app and managed with expertise by Team Daffodil in the backend. To streamline this process, a dedicated dashboard was developed, allowing the support team to monitor and address reported issues and suggestions. These valuable inputs are utilized to continually enhance the application’s functionality.

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The Impact

Our collaboration with RBI has been a true success story that speaks volumes about our commitment to delivering impactful solutions. Our tailored approach not only improved user experiences but also significantly expanded our client’s user base to 2 million users.The overwhelming satisfaction expressed by our client not only validates our efforts but also fuels our enthusiasm for future opportunities. Looking ahead, we are poised to enhance the application's capabilities even further. Our next milestone involves enabling the recognition of Indian coins, a significant advancement that will simplify everyday transactions for individuals with visual and hearing impairments.

  • 2M+ Downloads
  • 99.9% Accuracy
  • 150,000 Size of Training Dataset

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