Voice Stick reads text to the blind – blind said to be looking forward to reading Buffy meets Star Trek fanfiction

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From the “I can’t believe this has only just been invented” department comes the Voice Stick, a concept device that will “read” text aloud for the blind.

It’s a pretty clever device. The user simply waves the device over whatever they want to read (books, newspapers, graffiti in pub toilets, etc) and using similar OCR technology to that found in conventional scanners, will then convert then interpret the text, then use a text-to-voice engine and read it out.

This sounds great in principle – and the same technology could probably be used in a similar device for translating foreign language documents, for example. Having not seen the device in action myself though, I’m unable to verify how good it is at doing two tasks that computers have always struggled with and in my experience have always given results riddled with errors- reading stuff via OCR and text-to-speech.

No word yet if this device will make it out of the design phase and into production, but surely the general release of something like this is inevitable?

(via Yanko Designs)

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James O’Malley