Scanning and Reading For All
If there is one area of technology that has changed more than most it is scanning and reading. This is where we use technology to take a picture of a page and then use software to interpret the words on it so they can be spoken by a machine voice. We already provide a wide range of options including the ClearReader+, PEARL and OpenBook, SARA CE, Zoom-Ex and Zoom-Twix.
Scanning and reading devices are really useful for people with no sight, as well as people with low vision, who may use it in conjunction with their magnifiers when their eyes get fatigued or sore.
Well, there is now another option that has recently been released in the US and we think this one is worthy of a close look. It is called the Eye-Pal Ace and incorporates two cameras, a screen and all the controls within a single box that weighs just 1.6kg.
Sit in a Comfy Chair and Read!
The Eye-Pal Ace will enable multiple pages to be scanned and stored. This means that you can sit in your favourite chair and read the large print version on the screen as well as listen along as each word is spoken. Don’t be put off by the idea of a computer voice talking to you; Eye-Pal Ace has really good quality Australian voices!
Why Two Cameras?
The first camera takes a picture of any A4 document and sends the image to be converted to speech and large print. The second camera enables live video, meaning you can use it as a regular electronic magnifier. With the unit sitting on a desk, you can place objects to be magnified in front of it, and use the in-built screen to view them.
At around the size of a large book (27cm x 26cm x 7.6cm), the Eye-Pal Ace can easily be carried around. It will run from batteries or mains power and has an auto-standby feature to preserve battery life. There are also two bright LED lights built-in that are positioned so as not to shine in the user’s eyes. The positioning of the lights and cameras also facilitates writing.
The Eye-Pal Ace has been developed by AbiSee in the US, makers of the Zoom-Ex and Zoom-Twix. So they have plenty of experience in scanning and reading. With the Eye-Pal Ace they claim only a three second delay between scanning a page and having it read back to you. It will read mail, newspapers, magazines, recipes and even food packaging. When not being used as a magnifier it will display a large print clock on the screen, and will even remind you of appointments!
Being such a new product, there is already a queue for trials and demonstrations, so please express your interest early.