Wonderful Engineering

FingerReader Is A Ring That Reads Out Printed Text To Visually Impaired People

FingerReader is a gadget which will be worn on the index finger giving the blind user the power to hear to the printed words.

The brains behind this gadget are the scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The prototype of the device produced by a 3D printer fits perfectly on the index finger. A camera mounted on the ring scans the pointed text and afterwards, A synthesized voice reads the sentences out.

People with impaired vision only need to point and align their finger with the text. Reading is as simple as pointing! They can read out restaurant menus to newspapers- all the stuff which was not available in Braille. It is also an aid for language translation. The device includes software which tracks the finger movements and processes the information. It gives feedback to the reader if his finger veers away from the baseline of the text. The vibration of motors in the ring warns the reader to align their fingers with text when they stray from the script.

Professor Pattie Maes, from the developing team said: ‘It 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.’

The device has taken three years in coding, development and experimentation and feedback process. However, the scientists have yet to figure out a way to interact the device with touch screen smart phones and tablets. Because when you move your finger along the text on a touch screen, the text also moves along making it difficult for the FingerReader to interpret and process information.

Here’s a demo: