Tech Innovation: Camera Based Reading Software For Blind

28 January 2008 By Shashank

Kurzweil_Blind_Reader_CellphoneInventor Ray Kurzweil in partnership with NFB (National Federation of the Blind)have developed a camera based reading software knfbReader that works with Nokia N82 5 megapixel camera and has the ability to read out the text from the pictures of printed page. It also has a voice guiding recognition system that would help them to take pictures from an optimal framing point. Press a button and most printed materials will be easily read in clear synthetic speech.

Excerpts from press release:

Blind users hear the contents of the document read in clear synthetic speech, while users who can see the screen and those with learning disabilities can enlarge, read, track, and highlight printed materials using the phone’s large and easy-to-read display. The combination of text-to-speech and tracking features makes interpreting text much easier for individuals with learning disabilities.

Using the state-of-the-art Nokia N82 cell phone running on the powerful Symbian operating system with its integrated high-resolution camera, the Reader puts the best available character-recognition software together with text-to-speech conversion technology–all in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. The product includes Kurzweil’s unique intelligent image processing software to enhance real-world images captured by a handheld device.

Blind users will have access to all of the functions featured in the most advanced cell phones on the market including video and music playback, GPS, wireless communications, photography, e-mail, text messaging, calendar and task functions, and more. The combination Reader and cell phone weighs 4.2 ounces and can store thousands of printed pages with easily obtainable extra memory. Users can transfer files to computers or Braille notetakers in seconds.

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