There is no full stop when it comes to technology advancement. Tech world witnesses innovation with every passing day rather every passing second. It has been quite some time now since the wearable technology hit the global market and blew the whole world away with devices like; smartwatch, smartglass; to name a few.
When everyone was busy talking about wearable devices by tech giants Apple, Samsung etc.. researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Roy Shilkrot, Jochen Huber along with others, stepped into the field by doing something incredibly good that could benefit society on the whole. They put their heads together and developed a new technology that has made it possible for the visually impaired people to read any written material, without using Braille.
The magical ‘Finger Reader’ is a 3D printed wearable ring like gadget that supports VI in reading printed text by scanning with the finger. It is basically an index finger wearable ring. This amazing wearable reading device has small a small high resolution camera attached with it, that scans the transcript, and when the users follow the written text with their finger, it starts reading the words out loud following the finger’s movements.
This phenomenal gadget does not have too many buttons on it, rather has an extremely simple user friendly interface. It has a dual material design case which provides the ring with ring-fit flexibility. Vibration motors are embedded on top as well as bottom of the ring to provide haptic feedback of the layout as in; start of new lines, end of lines etc.. Hence, directing the users to move the camera with the help of distinctive gestures. Moreover, it weighs exactly same as any other ring. Software includes hardware control driver, integration layer with Tesseract OCR and Flite Text-to-Speech as well as text extraction algorithm.
The project has been under development for three years and the device is still a prototype. The ‘Finger Reader’ is not the only reading assistance device for the blind people but what makes it different is its affordability and better result as compared to the current items in the market, says the maker of this device Roy Shilkrot.
According to Shilkrot,
“We did not envision the final version of ‘Finger Reader’ to be only for visually impaired people rather it was for people with ‘disability, ability and super ability’. ”
Currently the prototype is being tested for maximum efficacy. The innovators have hired Jerry Berrier, a blind tester for this device.
“The FingerReader is helpful for reading books and magazines that are not available in Braille. Moreover, it has more important uses like; reading menus, important forms and any other everyday material”, says Berrier.
The device is very handy and flexible; and this is probably the main reason behind its success in such a competitive market. This wonderful piece of technology is surely a vital step taken to help millions and trillions of people to live richer and more productive lives and complete their dreams; with just one strike of a digit.