New Reading Technology: A Ring That Reads to the Blind
July 10, 2014
The FingerReader is a prototype product developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that, using a small camera, can instantly scan printed words and read them aloud to the user. According to a story by the Associated Press, visually impaired individuals can wear the FingerReader ring on their index finger, point it at a text, and the ring immediately “speaks” the text aloud. The device uses vibration and audio cues to alert the user if their finger has strayed away from the text.
“[It’s like] reading with the tip of your finger,” said Pattie Maes, an MIT professor leading the group developing the FingerReader prototype,” and it’s a lot more flexible, a lot more immediate than any solution they have right now.”
Reportedly, the prototype is capable of reading everything from books, magazines, and newspapers, to computer screens and phones—though it does have a problem with touch screens, which need to be disabled for the product to work properly.