Thursday, July 10, 2014

Finger ~ Print

This device, currently in development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is not intended to replace Braille. It will give the visually impaired access to books and newspapers, but also allow them to access menus at restaurants, forms at the doctor's office, and the text on their computer screens. A team at the MIT Media Lab has spent the last 3 years developing the FingerReader, a prototype that fits on the finger and is equipped with a small camera to scan text. A synthesized voice reads the words aloud and vibrations let the user know his or her finger is straying off the line (VIDEO HERE). There are other optical character recognition devices available, but they are bulky and do not read in real time. The FingerReader plugs into a computer, laptop, or phone, but cannot yet read a touch screen. After they solve that and some other challenges, the MIT team hopes to bring the device to market so that it is affordable to the 11.2 million people in the U.S. alone who could use it.

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