OrCam Releases OrCam Read
OrCam Technologies this week is introducing OrCam Read, a handheld assistive technology device for people with reading difficulties stemming from mild to moderate vision impairment, reading fatigue, dyslexia, aphasia, and other conditions, as well as for those who read large volumes of text.
OrCam Read leverages OrCam's artificial intelligence-driven computer vision technology. It captures and reads aloud in real time from any printed surface or digital screen.
"We extended our personal AI offerings to include OrCam Read, a new form factor which is a lightweight, handheld device that intuitively empowers people who have reading difficulties. The device brings back the joy of reading, as it instantly reads aloud full pages or screens of text," said Yonatan Wexler, OrCam's executive vice president of research and development, in a statement. "It can be challenging for a wide range of people who need reading support for work, academics, or for simply delighting in the pleasure of it. Using the computer vision technology that OrCam pioneered creates an enjoyable reading experience. This ability to instantly hear text relieves the burden of reading and enables focusing on the content with ease."
OrCam Read's proprietary AI algorithms enable point-and-click operation activating two precision laser guidance options to read the entire highlighted text or target where to begin reading. The wireless device provides instant audio playback, communicating text from newspapers, books, computer and smartphone screens, product labels, and other surfaces.
"People with mild to moderate vision still retain some functional vision," said Bryan Wolynski, an optometrist and consultant to OrCam. "For these people, OrCam Read offers a new opportunity for increased independence through access to text, in any setting, at any time."
OrCam Read's AI operation is processed entirely offline. The size of a pen, it is outfitted with a modified 13-megapixel smart camera, and is both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing users to connect the device to wireless headphones for private reading, and for periodic software updates. A high-intensity LED light automatically illuminates reading in low light conditions.
A new natural language processing (NLP) interactive reading feature will be released by Wi-Fi update in the coming months. Beginning with English-speaking regions and subsequently available in additional languages, the AI-driven feature enables the user to read only text of interest via voice commands such as "read headlines", "read phone numbers", or "find" a specific word.
Assistive speech technology needs to be both more available and more usable
Speech tech is a major driver behind assistive devices—ones that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and benefit from faster processing speeds and internet connectivity—that are helping people with all sorts of disabilities