Any of you remember the KNFB Reader used on cell phones about 8-10 years ago? Well that type of functionality using a smart phone is back, better than ever for the iPhone. Used by individuals with blindness, learning or visual impairments, the KNFB reader was a quick, mobile access to print on the fly. And now it is back with updated technology and accessibility option of iOS.
KNFB Reader app (iPhone/iPad; 99.), developed by Sensotec NV and KNFB Reader Technology, converts images to text with text to speech capabilities, voiceover access and voice for individuals with low vision, blindness or learning disabilities. The interface is simple and easy to use – point and shoot controls and verbal guidance available for individuals that have visual challenges.
- Options to scanning single or multiple columns
- View finder for live view of field being scanned
- Tilt guidance to assist the user with aligning the camera to the document
- Automated text detection
- Ability to capture a variety of print sources (mail, receipts, handouts, memos and documents)
- Synchronized highlighting with text to speech and Braille Access
- Text navigation by character, word, line, sentence
- Import images and documents
- Export txt and html formatted text files to cloud storage services including Dropbox and Google Drive
- Batch scan mode to process and read multiple pages
- Recognize and read text in multiple languages; please visit our website for details
- Tap and read function using standard touch or voiceover gestures
The app was generously provided as a demo for evaluation purposes. I had the opportunity to trial the app with standard print from magazine sources as well as functionally with multiple print menus gathered from a fast food chain restaurant. Putting the app to the test, the print sources had multiple colored backgrounds, images on the pages and also had the deadly itsy bitsy print of about 8-9 point with serif font (not a popular font size for 50 something year olds, much less individuals with low vision!!). The results of the gathered images of the print sources resulted in good accuracy of images converted to text. Taken upside down or right side up the images were converted to accessible text that was able to be understood.
One of the tests used part of an article from a professional magazine with 9 point font. Accuracy of the 373 words recognized in the scanned part of the article resulted in 99% accuracy. The small, dense print was accurately recognized and read aloud using text to speech and a quality voice. Testing using fast food menus with tiny and dense print and Word Art (that is always tough to recognize) managed the important information (do they have cheesy fries ?) as well as subscript print. It was quite impressive and a very functional addition to your app collection if you need speech output access to print on the fly.
A Quick Start Guide and the User Manual is easily available in the saved documents of the app providing text to speech to support the apps use. As a sighted person, this is an easy to use app with great recognition. Options of using voice over controls on an iPhone or iPad makes this a great option for individuals with visual challenges .
Have you tried this app?