If you’re visually impaired, then reading a text in a book full of small letters won’t be easy. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SIT) therefore decided to do something about it and came up with FingerReader. This is a 3D printed device that makes it easy for anyone to read a text. The only thing you need is your own index finger and a FingerReader device.
Any user can wear the device like a ring, and it is equipped with a camera. This camera reads the words of all kinds of online or offline texts after the user points his forefinger at the words of choice. These words are then processed, after which a synthesized voice reads the text aloud. The 3D printed device could be used to read menu cards, flyers, online articles and whatever kind of text a user would want to read.
So how does a visually impaired person know where a sentence ends? Well, this device uses vibration motors, which alert readers when their finger moves away from a line or word. It took the researchers at SIT three years to come up with this device, but it’s still not ready to be added to the market and it might take them a few more years to further develop this product.
There are also some problems with reading a touch-screen, as the tip of a finger could easily move the text around. As you could understand, it is impossible for this device to read moving texts. The touch-screen function therefore needs to be disabled to make it work for the visually impaired. In the mean time, they might consider using Google’s braille phone, which is a phone that uses braille to make it easier for the visually impaired to find telephone numbers from friends.
Image credits: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SIT)/ FingerReader.