EyeNote App Overview

The EyeNote App

The EyeNote App EyeNote is a free mobile device application to identify denominations of Federal Reserve Notes (U.S. paper currency) as an aid for the blind or visually impaired.

Available on the App Store

The EyeNote application (app) was developed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) for the blind or visually impaired to use as a tool to increase accessibility to Federal Reserve Notes (U.S. paper currency). EyeNote® is built for the Apple iOS to allow the user to scan a bank note and communicate its value back to the user.

The app is available as a free download on the Apple App Store. It runs without any special filters or background material. A data connection is not required for the app to work.


EyeNote does not authenticate a note as being either genuine or counterfeit. Please refer to the license agreement on the Apple App Store for additional information. For questions or comments regarding the EyeNote app contact us at EyeNote@bep.gov.

Installing and Using the EyeNote App

Installation and Setup

Once the EyeNote app has been downloaded to the user's device the app icon should be placed either on the bottom left or right corner of the screen for easy access, or in the app dock. This will allow for easy access to easily locate and launch the app when needed. If you put the EyeNote app icon as the only icon on the dock, it will center itself and always be located just above the Home button.

Using the EyeNote App

Once the EyeNote application (app) has been downloaded, launch the app.  The user will launch the app from an icon on the iOS device. The new version 2.0 of the EyeNote application will utilize a continuous scan function. The continuous scanning shall commence once the application has loaded. The new Version 2.0 will utilize VoiceOver for vocal and gesture feedback if it is turned on for the target iOS device.

Scanning Notes

To complete a successful scan, the note should be positioned 6 to 8 inches away from the camera. The app must scan more than half of the note to recognize it. Adequate natural or artificial lighting is required for proper scanning, for ideal scanning conditions limit hand movement to reduce image blur. For best results, place the note on a flat surface.

EyeNote® Features and Optional Settings

The EyeNote app uses image recognition technology and the device's integrated camera to recognize bank notes and communicate the result back to the user. All current circulating notes from 1996 forward can be recognized by the app:

The EyeNote app supports English and Spanish languages. The device's language setting determines the EyeNote app voice setting. Switch languages by changing the device's settings menu option. If the device language setting is set to a language other than English or Spanish, the app will default to English. The device's volume controls determine how loud the result is spoken. For privacy in Spoken mode, the user can use the devices earphones.

In Spoken mode, the app "speaks" the denomination of the note and identifies if the front or back of the note was scanned. For example: "One Dollar Front" or "Twenty Dollars Back". The front or back orientation is spoken to assist when needed for vending usage. The spoken message for an unsuccessful scan is "Error, Reposition".

The other selectable output is Privacy mode. In Privacy mode, the app will not speak the denomination, but will communicate results back to the user with a pulse pattern (see below). On the iPhone, Privacy mode uses the vibration buzzer for the pulses. On the iPod Touch and iPad 2, Privacy mode uses an audible beep for the pulses. The patterns follow an easy sequential pattern:

Make sure you set your device correctly:

Go to Settings, then Sounds. There are 2 Vibrate setting switches on this screen. At the top of the Sounds screen there is Silent, with a vibrate switch setting; this switch does not matter for the EyeNote to vibrate. Scrolling down the screen there is another Vibrate switch just above Ringtone. This Vibrate setting has to be set to ON for EyeNote to vibrate on an iPhone.

EyeNote FAQ

1. What is EyeNote?

EyeNote is a mobile device application to identify denominations of Federal Reserve Notes (U.S. paper currency) as an aid for the blind or visually impaired.

2. What devices will EyeNote work on?

All iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch iOS devices that have a camera, including iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPad mini and iOS7.1.

3. How EyeNote 2.0 differs from EyeNote 1.0?

The BEP has developed version 2.0 of Eyenote, to include a continuous scanning. The new release utilizes continuous recognition with no need to hold the iPhone still or capture a photo. Once EyeNote 2.0 scans the note it will denominate the currency.

4. Why wasn't the continuous scanning feature introduced in EyeNote 1.0?

Continuous scanning feature require video technology. The first generation iOS devices were not equipped with video technology.

5. When will EyeNote be available?

The app is available now from the Apple App StoreSM for free.

6. Will a user need to have a data plan or any other accessory to make EyeNote work?

No. EyeNote is designed to be 100% functional without the need for a cellular or Wi-Fi data connection. No other accessory is required.

7. The iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad have a touch screen and few distinguishable buttons or keys, how will a blind person use EyeNote?

The development team certainly realizes this. EyeNote is designed to be as close to a “OneTouch” app to maximize use by a user with no vision. Starting from this point, the program is positioned for future development on other platforms as the industry moves to touch screens as a common offering in mobile devices. The app launch icon can be fixed on the Dock so that it is always in the same location for the user to activate.

8. Will a user have to specially align or hold the banknote to the device?

No special alignment will be required. EyeNote was designed to work when the banknote is held in one hand and the mobile device is in the other hand - real life conditions - front, back, at an angle, or partially covered by a hand.

9. How will the user know what the denomination is?

There will be a user-selectable choice of spoken word output (English or Spanish) using the device's speaker or specially keyed vibrations/tones to identify the note denomination when privacy is required.

10. As currency or the devices change, how will the app be updated?

The app will be updated to recognize changing designs to currency as they are developed. Also, EyeNote will work with the new $100 banknote after its introduction into circulation. As platforms advance for which there is already an EyeNote app, the app will be updated to stay current. Using the features of the App Store, users will receive automatic notifications that updates are available.

11. Why is the Government doing this program when there is also discussion of providing a tactile feature and providing a free standalone Reader?

The app is not in lieu-of any other accommodation; it is in addition-to all other programs the Government is considering. It simply provides another option for the public which would preclude a user from having to carry a separate reader if they also own a compatible mobile device.

12. Why are there on screen instructions when the app is designed for people who cannot see?

These instructions are a quick reference on how to use the app. When the device is in VoiceOver mode (an Accessibility feature that Apple provides) these quick instructions are read aloud to the user. Complete use instructions are available at www.eyenote.gov.

13. Does EyeNote detect counterfeit notes?

No. EyeNote only identifies the denomination of the note.

14. Where can I get more information?



iTunes App Store