Technology has dramatically evolved over the years and it has paved way for endless possibilities. Camera technology is no different in that regard. Take FingerReader for that matter that hints at that very fact.
It’s a prototype, developed by Media Lab at MIT especially for the assistance of blind people, that is worn on one’s finger. What makes it special is its ability to allow reading with no need for a tactile writing system.
The device contains dedicated sensors, character recognition software, a camera and an algorithms set which read out words displayed on a device or written on a page. The device calculates the beginning and conclusion of a line, judging by the typographic nature of the script. Once that is determined, the camera within it can shoot snippets that are transmitted via the software to transform into sounds.
At this point in time, the device requires tethering with a laptop in order for it to function in real time. Afterall, quick feedback is crucial for its success which heavy computing can provide. However, the team behind FingerReader is striving to come up with an open source variant of the character recognition software that is capable of using Android phones for the computing that the entire process requires.
FingerReader could be an excellent substitute to braille for blind people
In order to make this endeavour even more meaningful, the developers are looking to introduce audio and haptic feedback to the mix. This would help notify readers in case they begin to stray from the line they are reading or supposed to be reading next. The haptic engine is expected to make use of a couple of motors, one on top and other on the bottom of FingerReader. Upon detecting that the user is starting to drift from the right line, it would bump the finger before producing an alert tone.