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Mobile Technology as a ‘Portable Eye’

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Imagine pulling out a phone and snapping a picture of a menu at a restaurant, or a meeting agenda and then having that information read back to you via an earpiece.Now, imagine the same thing happening in a country where you can’t speak or read the language and the info read back to you is translated into your native tongue.

While it might sound like overkill tech for those who can see to read, those who are sight-imparied can take advantage of this kind of mobile tech to help make their lives more livable.

The software behind this magic is made by Ray Kurzwell of KNFB Reading Techonologies, who has been working on technology to help the blind for some time. He’s also looking ahead and thinking that some of these new developments might indeed come in handy for users who have their sight as well. Check out this excerpt on how one blind user works with the software and a Nokia phone:

“At work, I can take a picture of two different documents to figure out which is which,” says Smith, who works for John Hancock. “At home, if I’m making chili, I can take a picture of a can to make sure it’s the kidney beans before I open it.”

Check out the full article on Boston.com (Boston Globe). I find it fascinating.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

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