Thursday, February 28, 2008

KNFB Reader Mobile also marketed as assistive technology for LD

Realizing the multi-faceted strengths of its product, the manufacturer of the
KNFB Reader Mobile
Is now also marketing the
handheld OCR device to people with learning disabilities.

The latest stage for the innovative assistive technology device is the Chicago Hilton, the host of the currently on-going annual conference of the
Learning Disabilities Association of America.
(Warning: this site had audio streaming when I loaded it. I don’t know if that is always the case, but be warned.)

Product information from the official KNFB press release:

“The pocket-sized device is the first of its kind, and enables users to take pictures of and then read most printed materials at the push of a button, using the high-resolution camera in the state-of-the-art Nokia N82 cell phone. Users can hear documents, signs, menus, receipts, even currency - most any printed text - read aloud in clear synthetic speech, at an adjustable speed.”

“KNFB Reading Technology is the brain child of Ray Kurzweil, a thirty-year innovator and pioneer in assistive technologies and the inventor of the world's first print-to-speech reading machine. The kReader uses a combination of unique intelligent image-processing software with text-to-speech and text-tracking features, which makes interpreting text much easier for individuals with learning disabilities. They can now enlarge, read, track, and highlight text using the phone's large, easy-to-read display.”

Given the background of the Kurzweil 1000 and 3000 products, the KNFB Reader Mobile seems a logical advance in integration of these two pieces of assistive technology. Using the video screen of the cell phone as a text magnifier for people who are visually impaired seems like a no-brainer, but I tip my hat to Mr. Kurzweil for employing the K3000 aspects in the Mobile Reader to also make it usable by people with LD.

If interested in pricing and related information, you may wish to read my
earlier post announcing this product.

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