MIT develops finger-mounted reading device for the blind

Image: MIT
Image: MIT
Image: MIT

By Newsgram Staff Writer

There have been numerous inventions of new age wearable technology in the last few years. But Scientists at the MI’s Media lab have conceived a device that will raise the bar of the category of wearable technology to new heights.

In what could prove to be the next most powerful wearable for the visually impaired is the new Finger mounted reading device. This device comes with a built-in camera which converts written text into audio for visually impaired users. As a visually impaired user moves her finger across the text, a synthesized voice would read out words and sentences loudly for the user to hear and decipher the text.

MIT media lab post doc Jochen Huber, who is also the lead writer of the paper on this device, said that “For visually impaired users, this is a translation. It’s something that translates whatever the finger is ‘seeing’ to audio.”

The device is being applauded by physicists and scientists already and is being expected to help the Visually impaired people to get some ease in their overall reading experience. George Stetten, a physician and engineer with joint appointments at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and the University of Pittsburgh’s Bioengineering Department, who himself is in the way of developing a finger mounting device that gives visually impaired users information about distant objects was quoted  as saying “I am very impressed with what they do.”

The device according to the researchers may have a wider range of applications that they’d expected with its conception. They are planning to cover a range of people apart from the visually impaired ones. “We got many emails and requests from organizations, but also just parents of children with dyslexia, for instance.” said Shilkrot.

The team is now working on developing a version of the open-source software that will run on Android Phones, which are widely used all over the world.

While the MIT team that developed the device feels it will be able to launch the device at an affordable price, there has however been no declaration of the cost of the device as yet.