Artificial intelligence is providing a whole new set of remarkable assistive technology tools. One new device is the OrCam Read device. With similar reading functions as the OrCam MyEye glasses mounted scan and read device, the OrCam Read device is a small, discrete, handheld device that instantly reads scanned text with incredible accuracy.
The OrCam Read device measures 5” in length by 1” height and ½” width, just the right size to hold in your hand, carry in a pocket or attach to a lanyard. Lightweight and easy to handle, control buttons are easy to access with point and shoot operation to scan desired test. The OrCam Read device uses a laser light beam to capture what text you are scanning. Two different red laser beams are used, one showing a frame capture and the second a laser pointer capture. The frame capture scans a whole page on text information, whereas the laser pointer option identifies reading from a specific point in the text.
The point and shoot feature is easy to start, pause and stop with the button controls resulting in instant text to speech once print is captured. The + and – buttons allow the user to navigate within the text by moving up/down a line. Both navigation and point and shoot features are fast and immediately responsive without any lag experienced.
Testing the OrCam Read with several different hard print sources found the accuracy of the text read to be extremely high. Trialed with a magazine article, a business letter, textbook and post card print information resulted in OrCam Read text to speech accuracy on targeted text to be at 99%. An error when reading an abbreviation of APR, recognized as April was found when used with a business letter. Using trials, the device accurately read text as small as 6-8 point to large titles and headings on hard copy print. The Orcam Read will tell you when the text is unable to be read, or in the case of word art graphics or handwriting, it does not process it.
Having trialled and texted many devices and apps with text to speech capabilities to support client needs, the OrCam Read device using standard typed text is the best I have experienced. Its speed of processing was fast, accurate with a point and shoot type of control. Practice with the point and shoot was needed to understand the parameters of where and what it will read as would be expected.
Other features of the OrCam Read include Bluetooth capabilities to connect wireless speakers and headphones. A standard jack headphone jack is also available. Using Wi-Fi, updates can be downloaded to the device when available. The device menu is accessed by pressing the power and volume buttons simultaneously to control volume settings. Menu and prompts for operation of the OrCam Read are provided by spoken voice to guide the user in its functions. The OrCam can operate for 4 continuous hours, however it has a suspended mode after a few minutes of non-use which will automatically power down after another short period.
Initial trials of the OrCam Read device found it easy to use, small, discrete and highly accurate in reading standard hard copy print through its scan and read processing. For individuals with low vision and dyslexia, this device will provide an exceptional on demand tool to access print in work, education and community settings.
Here is an overview video of the OrCam Read device:
More for your OT eTool kit.
Carol – OT’s with Apps and Technology