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MIT FingerReader Will Make Print More Accessible To Visually Impaired

 

When you hear about or see designs that can really help people lead fuller lives, you want them available - now! That's how MIT's FingerReader hit me. Well, I said, to no one in particular, if you can prototype it, get it done, roll it out, let people who are blind or visually impaired have access to it - right now!  The FingerReader is something they will want.

 

MIT FingerReader: image via fluid.media.mit.eduMIT FingerReader: image via fluid.media.mit.edu

A second generation prototype, the first was a print reader that took a photo of a computer screen or document, and then transmitted the image to a voice 'reader,' the new FingerReader prototype actually scans a page or a screen word by word and immediately converts the image to voice.

The fluid nature of the new prototype should make reading a faster process than its predecessor, the "EyeRing Finger," although the prototype reader is not incredibly smooth even now! (See the Vimeo and remember the FingerReader is currently 'just a research prototype.')

I love the fact that the FingerReader not only reads the text, but also 'reads' the logistics of the print. For example, it lets the reader know when his or her FingerReader is straying from the line, when it comes to the end of a paragrah, or begins a new topic.

I'm not a low-vision reader, but who knows what the future holds?  I hope it holds a smooth-operating FingerReader.

Sources: MIT Fluid, Engadget