[nfb-talk] Fw: Reading things on-the-fly.

Cecilia Martínez ccmlhe at gmail.com
Tue Jul 8 21:09:48 UTC 2014

This is wonderful!!!
I wonder when will it come out?

On 7/8/14, Ed Meskys via nfb-talk <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 9:29 AM
> Subject: Reading things on-the-fly.
> Ed,
> This sounds good!  Once they get the bugs out...
> Matt
> Medical Tech
> New MIT finger device reads to blind in real time
> Published July 08, 2014
> Associated Press
> A model wears a FingerReader ring at the Massachusetts Institute of
> Technology's Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo Stephan Savoia)
> Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an
> audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision
> is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.
> The so-called FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like
> a ring on the user's finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A
> synthesized voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant
> menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home
> or office.
> Reading is as easy as pointing the finger at text. Special software tracks
> the finger movement, identifies words and processes the information. The
> device has vibration motors that alert readers when they stray from the
> script, said Roy Shilkrot, who is developing the device at the MIT Media
> Lab.
> For Jerry Berrier, 62, who was born blind, the promise of the FingerReader
> is its portability and offer of real-time functionality at school, a
> doctor's office and restaurants.
> "When I go to the doctor's office, there may be forms that I wanna read
> before I sign them," Berrier said.
> He said there are other optical character recognition devices on the market
> for those with vision impairments, but none that he knows of that will read
> in real time.
> Berrier manages training and evaluation for a federal program that
> distributes technology to low-income people in Massachusetts and Rhode
> Island who have lost their sight and hearing. He works from the Perkins
> School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts.
> "Everywhere we go, for folks who are sighted, there are things that inform
> us about the products that we are about to interact with. I wanna be able to
> interact with those same products, regardless of how I have to do it,"
> Berrier said.
> Pattie Maes, an MIT professor who founded and leads the Fluid Interfaces
> research group developing the prototype, says the FingerReader is like
> "reading with the tip of your finger and it's a lot more flexible, a lot
> more immediate than any solution that they have right now."
> Developing the gizmo has taken three years of software coding, experimenting
> with various designs and working on feedback from a test group of visually
> impaired people. Much work remains before it is ready for the market,
> Shilkrot said, including making it work on cellphones.
> Shilkrot said developers believe they will be able to affordably market the
> FingerReader but he could not yet estimate a price. The potential market
> includes some of the 11.2 million people in the United States with vision
> impairment, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
> Current technology used in homes and offices offers cumbersome scanners that
> must process the desired script before it can be read aloud by
> character-recognition software installed on a computer or smartphone,
> Shilkrot said. The FingerReader would not replace Braille - the system of
> raised dots that form words, interpreted by touch. Instead, Shilkrot said,
> the new device would enable users to access a vast number of books and other
> materials that are not currently available in Braille.
> Developers had to overcome unusual challenges to help people with visual
> impairments move their reading fingers along a straight line of printed text
> that they could not see. Users also had to be alerted at the beginning and
> end of the reading material.
> Their solutions? Audio cues in the software that processes information from
> the FingerReader and vibration motors in the ring.
> The FingerReader can read papers, books, magazines, newspapers, computer
> screens and other devices, but it has problems with text on a touch screen,
> said Shilkrot.
> That's because touching the screen with the tip of the finger would move
> text around, producing unintended results. Disabling the touch-screen
> function eliminates the problem, he said.
> Berrier said affordable pricing could make the FingerReader a key tool to
> help people with vision impairment integrate into the modern information
> economy.
> "Any tool that we can get that gives us better access to printed material
> helps us to live fuller, richer, more productive lives, Berrier said.
> --
> "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie- deliberate,
> contrived and dishonest, but the myth- persistent, persuasive and
> unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the
> discomfort of thought"
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