Skip to Main Content
We develop a novel camera-based computer vision technology to automatically recognize banknotes to assist visually impaired people. Our banknote recognition system is robust and effective with the following features: 1) high accuracy: high true recognition rate and low false recognition rate; 2) robustness: handles a variety of currency designs and bills in various conditions; 3) high efficiency: recognizes banknotes quickly; and 4) ease of use: helps blind users to aim the target for image capture. To make the system robust to a variety of conditions including occlusion, rotation, scaling, cluttered background, illumination change, viewpoint variation, and worn or wrinkled bills, we propose a component-based framework by using speeded up robust features (SURF). Furthermore, we employ the spatial relationship of matched SURF features to detect if there is a bill in the camera view. This process largely alleviates false recognition and can guide the user to correctly aim at the bill to be recognized. The robustness and generalizability of the proposed system are evaluated on a dataset including both positive images (with U.S. banknotes) and negative images (no U.S. banknotes) collected under a variety of conditions. The proposed algorithm achieves 100% true recognition rate and 0% false recognition rate. Our banknote recognition system is also tested by blind users.