FingerReader: a wearable device to explore text reading on the go

Roy Shilkrot, Jochen Huber, Meng Ee Wong, Pattie Maes, Suranga Chandima Nanayakkara


Accessing printed text in a mobile context is a major challenge for the blind. A preliminary study with blind people reveals numerous difficulties with existing state-of-the-art technologies including problems with alignment, focus, accuracy, mobility and efficiency. In this paper, we present a finger-worn device, FingerReader, that assists blind users with reading printed text on the go. We introduce a novel computer vision algorithm for local-sequential text scanning that enables reading single lines, blocks of text or skimming the text with complementary, multimodal feedback. This system is implemented in a small finger-worn form factor, that enables a more manageable eyes-free operation with trivial setup. We offer findings from three studies performed to determine the usability of the FingerReader.

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