Intel has launched a handheld mobile reader that allows people with learning disabilities and those with poor vision to photograph text and have it read aloud to them digitally. The Intel Reader uses a high resolution camera to convert printed text into digital text and then reads it aloud while also showing it on a screen. The device has 2GB of internal memory, which is enough to scan around 600 pages. The reader can also convert text from emails and the internet via a USB port and transfer it to an MP3 player or mobile phone for future use.
The device was designed and developed by Ben Foss, director of access technology at Intel’s Digital Health Group. He demonstrated the reader at its launch by photographing a newspaper and getting it to read the text out loud within seconds of it being scanned.
Both the British Dyslexia Association and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) support the reader as an advance in assistive technology. However, the device retails at