There are a variety of solutions for the blind and visually impaired people can read text , especially one who is not in Braille. Here we highlight the use of mobile applications that have begun to popularize over the years, which have their disadvantages as they require the person to take a picture of the page to identify the text, which for some is not a A very simple task to perform, besides that it does not usually work in multi-column formats or with summaries.
Jon Froehlich, a researcher at the University of Maryland, is presenting a device that aims to help in the work of reading to the blind, which consists of a tiny camera connected to a computer with which we can recognize each of the words in different Formats.
The device is called HandSight and was first presented in 2014, the year MIT also presented a similar solution, but now the project has evolved to make it more portable, efficient and especially wireless.
This new version incorporates a camera grieves one millimeter in diameter, the same as is used in endoscopes, which has been incorporated into a small LED within a device that is placed on the fingertip, and which in turn is connected To a wristband where are found the components that offer the wireless connectivity. The device has a small haptic motor that helps to emit small vibrations that serve to warn the user that he is jumping from line, that is changing of speed, or needs to change of position to continue the reading of efficient way.
Froehlich explains that he has been conducting tests on 19 people who have been testing the device on school textbooks and magazine pages, where the results show that on average each person has managed to read between 63 and 81 words per minute, with a few words Were overlooked during the reading. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, the average reading speed for an expert Braille reader is between 90 and 115 words per minute while a person with vision has a speed of 200 words on average.
However, the opinions among test participants are divided, because while some say that it is a great device that could change the lives of people, others found trouble jumping between the lines, identify loose paragraphs, and adapt to Rhythm of reading that the device needs.
Its creators continue perfected the device in order to have a commercial product in 2017 , which imagine a kind of smartwatch with speaker that can connect to a smartphone, and so far relies on a connection to a computer, besides seeking to expand their Capabilities so that not only is it able to recognize text, but also other visual characteristics such as figures and colors.