Israel-based company OrCam has developed a camera-based system that allows the visually impaired person to "read" and move about more freely and easily. Until now, reading aids for the visually impaired have been bulky with limited capabilities. The OrCam device is similar to Google Glass in its design but with advanced technology which includes the ability to both recognize and describe articles as well as bus numbers and surrounding landmarks. The device consists of a small camera worn on glasses and connected by a thin cable to a portable computer designed to fit in the wearer's pocket. The camera clips on to the glasses via a small magnet and a bone-conduction speaker delivers clear speech as it reads aloud the text or object that it is directed at by the wearer. Not only does the device utilize speech recognition technology but the device "learns" from the wearer to recognize a new product and unlike other devices, as that number of object grows, the system minimizes the amount of additional computer power required. The OrCam is available online at the company's website at a price tag of $2,500 which is comparable to a mid-range hearing aid.*
Computer-Assisted Vision Device Reads Newspapers, Menus, Street Signs!
- by Dr. Paul Krawitz
- 23 April, 2014