Mobile and wearable devices include cameras that can capture photos or recognize objects in the user’s field of view and provide corresponding user interfaces. However, such devices have limited battery capacity owing to which high resolution cameras on such devices cannot be configured in an always-on mode. Due to this limitation, the user needs to manually activate the camera to capture pictures or receive user interfaces appropriate for objects that are in their field of view. This disclosure describes the use of an always-on, low-power visual sensor or other sensor (with user permission) to detect contexts such as the presence of a barcode/QR code or large scannable text in the user’s field of view and automatically activate a high-resolution camera. The high-resolution camera obtains a high resolution image of objects in the user’s field of view which is analyzed to provide a suitable user interface.

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