The KNFB Reader app allows blind people to listen to an audio readback of printed text, providing its users with a new level of engagement in everyday life, from reading menus in restaurants to browsing handouts in the classroom.
The app is now available for iOS devices for $99 with Android version coming in the near future.The new smartphone application can recognize and translate print text between different languages and scan PowerPoint slides up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) away. The product is result of a four decade-long relationship between the National Federation of the Blind and Ray Kurzweil, a an artificial-intelligence scientist and senior Google employee. The technical development of the app was done by K-NFB Reading Technology Inc and Belgium-based Sensotec NV.
Taking advantage of new pattern recognition and image-processing technology as well as new smartphone hardware, KNFB Reader allows users to adjust or tilt the camera, and then hear the printed materials red out loud.
The app is now available for iOS devices for $99 with Android version coming in the near future. A Google Glass version may also be developed at a later date.