Category: Reading

Finger-mounted reading device for the blind

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Finger-mounted reading device for the blind is designed for use by individuals who have low vision or are blind. Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory have built a prototype of a finger-mounted device with a built-in camera that converts written text into audio for visually impaired users. The device provides feedback — either tactile or audible — that guides the user’s finger along a line of text, and the system generates the corresponding audio in real time.

The key to the system’s real-time performance is an algorithm for processing the camera’s video feed. Each time the user positions his or her finger at the start of a new line, the algorithm makes a host of guesses about the baseline of the letters. Since most lines of text include letters whose bottoms descend below the baseline, and because skewed orientations of the finger can cause the system to confuse nearby lines, those guesses will differ. But most of them tend to cluster together, and the algorithm selects the median value of the densest cluster.


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This is a prototype and not available for purchase.
Finger-mounted reading device for the blind