[guispeak] Pocket Sized Reading Machine Introduced

  • From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: GUISPEAK List <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 08:15:45 -0400

We all need to be in these trials:

-- Jonnie Apple Seed
With His:
Hands-On Technolog(eye)s



Kurzweil Technologies and National Federation of the Blind premiere the

  world's first portable reading machine for the blind

  KurzweilAI.net, July 11, 2005

  Kurzweil Technologies

  , Inc. (

  KTI

  ) and the National Federation of the Blind (

  NFB

  ) introduced the world's first portable

  reading machine

  for the blind last week at the NFB's

  2005 National Convention

  in Louisville, KY.

  The portable

  reading machine

  , which can fit in a user's shirt pocket, can read print and text

  materials as

  users

  go through their normal daily routine. It converts print into

  human

  -sounding speech and can read handouts at meetings, signs on a wall,

text

  on

  packages,

  and

  electronic

  displays. The

  hardware

  consists of a consumer

  digital

  camera with a standard PocketPC, so the

  hardware

  cost is expected to benefit from the rapid improvement of

  price-performance

  of consumer

  electronic

  s. The camera and pocket

  computer

  are held together by a snap-in case.

  The

  technology

  was developed by Ray Kurzweil and his colleagues at KTI in close

  collaboration with

  the NFB, which is organizing a comprehensive testing

  program

with blind users. Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first

  print-to-speech

  reading machine

for the blind, also developed in close collaboration with the NFB. Ray

  Kurzweil

noted that "The new unit is 10,000 times smaller than the original 1976

  reading machine

  , yet the

  computer

  it's using is 2,000 times more powerful." This new portable unit is

  expected

  to

  be available for sale in 2006.

  NFB Director of Strategic Projects Jim Gashel demonstrated the

  reading machine

to an enthusiastic audience of more than 2,000 blind delegates. "There

was

  cheering

  for several minutes while the

  machine

  read the document," said Kurzweil, who followed the demo with a talk

  explaining

  the

  machine

  , KTI's collaboration with NFB on the project, and the

  future

  of this

  technology

  .

  The portable reader provides feedback to the user on what it sees,

guiding

  the

  user

to properly frame reading material. It can report, for example, if one

of

  the

  edges

of a document is out of view. It is also capable of stitching together

  portions of

a document from multiple pictures taken by the camera. It can detect and

  correct

any degree of document rotation and is insensitive to three degrees of

  freedom

  of image tilt or rotation. The

  software

  also includes image-enhancement techniques to compensate for uneven

  illumination

  and the low quality optics of inexpensive consumer cameras.

  Future

  version will include scene-recognition capabilities to locate objects

such

  as

  chairs,

  lamps and people.



** To leave the list, click on the immediately-following link:-
** [mailto:guispeak-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx?subject=unsubscribe]
** If this link doesn't work then send a message to:
** guispeak-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
** and in the Subject line type
** unsubscribe
** For other list commands such as vacation mode, click on the
** immediately-following link:-
** [mailto:guispeak-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx?subject=faq]
** or send a message, to
** guispeak-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the Subject:- faq

Other related posts:

  • » [guispeak] Pocket Sized Reading Machine Introduced