November 12, 2009
Intel Unveils e-Reader for the Visually Impaired
The Intel Reader is intended to assist people who are blind, dyslexic or have weak vision. The paperback-sized, less than 1.5 pounds device combines a 5-megapixel camera with Linux-powered OCR, a 4 GB Intel Solid State Drive and text-to-voice software. The Intel Reader currently sells at $1,500. A portable capture station that can hold and power the e-reader while it's being used to scan a large number of pages sells for $400. Intel's Press Release and Product Description web pages. Details on the portable capture station. See Digital Trends, Computerworld and Gizmodo articles for additional details. Video demo below.
The technology powering the Intel Reader, when compared to the Kindle DX, looks like it may be a step in the right direction for providing e-textbooks to the visually impaired. The National Federation of the Blind opposes IHE programs that are attempting to deploy Amazon's Kindle DX as a means of distributing e-textbooks to students because the Kindle DX in its current form cannot be used by visually impaired students and therefore denies them equal access to e-textbooks. The Kindle DX features text-to-speech technology but the menus of the device are not accessible to the visually impaired, making it impossible for a visually impaired user to purchase books from Amazon’s Kindle store, select a book to read, activate the text-to-speech feature, and use the advanced reading functions available on the Kindle DX. See Mark Giangrande's LLB post, Two Universities Won't Take Kindles Over Lack of Easy Audio Features for Blind Students. [JH]
The fruits of technology must be shared to the able and disabled people alike. This would benefit millions of disabled individuals who have been deprive of some convenience in life.
Posted by: Postergal | Nov 12, 2009 11:46:06 PM