The brainy folks over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have done it yet again – having come up with an audio reading device which is meant to be worn on the index finger of someone who suffers from a certain degree of visual impairment, which would provide them with affordable as well as instant access to the printed word, which will be a vast difference from the world of Braille, that is for sure. This audio reading device is known as the FingerReader, where a 3D printer rolled out the first prototype.
The FingerReader works this way – it will feature a tiny camera that is capable of scanning text as you wear it around your finger. Of course, do not expect it to read back in a nice, soothing voice that you’re used to on TV, but rather, listen to a synthesized voice that will read out words aloud, making it a snap to translate whatever books, restaurant menus and other reading materials that one comes across in everyday life.
In fact, reading it is as easy as pointing the finger at some text, and let the camera work in tandem with the preloaded special software. The FingerReader itself boasts of vibration motors which will be able to alert readers whenever one strays away from the script. Definitely one of the more useful tools to help the visually impaired be more independent, especially when it comes to deciphering official documents that need their signature.
Here’s to the FingerReader moving out the of the prototype stage as soon as possible, where hopefully it will also be accompanied by an affordable price tag when available to the masses.