Re: The Optacon wow! good explanation

I was just going to respond to that inquiry and came across your excellent
explanation. Thanks.

By the way I was able to recover from my crash. Thanks to the Optacon. Still
need a solution for the video intercept error.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Francis Daniels" <fdaniels@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 9:41 PM
Subject: The Optacon


> You are forgiven.  The Optacon, Optical to Tactile Converter, used a small
> hand-held camera to convert an optical image into a vibrating tactile
> representation of what the camera saw.  The vibrating image was made up of
> 144 vibrating pins.  Each pin corresponded to a sensor in the retina of
the
> camera.  So if the camera was passed over the letter O, you would feel a
> little round circle with a hole in the middle.
>
> The vibrating array was controlled by two knobs.  One let you set how
> intense the vibrations were.  The other knob set the contrast.  That is,
if
> you were looking at text and the letters were very bold and thick, you
could
> adjust the contrast so that the letters became thinner and more readable.
> You could also make the letters bigger or smaller, depending on the size
of
> the print.
>
> The Optacon came with a number of lenses.  One was used to read print.
> Another was used to read small print.  One was for the computer screen and
> another was to read hand-held calculators.
>
> The Optacon had a rechargable battery to run the eletronics.  But it was
> sealed, so if it failed, you had to send the unit to the shop to be
> replaced.
>
> I saw price fluctuations between $2500 up to over $4800 for the device.
> Training was hard, lasting 60 hours.  Talk about intense and exciting at
the
> same time.  You could use it to read just about anything.  Very cool
> machine.  I call it the OCR scanner without the OCR.  That was the user's
> part.  You had to move the camera in a straight horizontal line and
> interpret the display to read stuff.  I was never very good with it, but I
> was qualified to evaulate people on the machine.
>
> Francis
>
>
>
>
>
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