Ring Could Help Blind to Read Text

AN AUDIO reading device worn on the index finger could help blind and visually impaired people to read printed text in real time.

The FingerReader technology has been developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab and consists of a camera which is worn on the user’s index finger.

As the wearer scans along the lines of text with their finger, the camera captures the text and the words are deciphered by the device before being read aloud by a synthesised voice.

The wearer also receives positional cues in the form of haptic feedback (small vibrations) to indicate when the wearer is at the start or end of a line, a line break or a new paragraph.

The technology could provide a solution to the reading needs of visually impaired people while travelling, or where they may not have access to brail or other reader technology, and could also aid the translation of text from other languages.

According to the research team behind the device, ‘FingerReader is currently just a research prototype but it may be developed into a product in the future.’

Professor Pattie Maes of MIT, who founded and leads research group developingFingerReader, told Huffington Post the prototype is like “reading with the tip of your finger and it’s a lot more flexible, a lot more immediate than any solution that they have right now.”