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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finger Reader

By Team IAnD
Photography: Courtesy MIT Media Lab & World Wide Web

The Finger Reader by students of MIT Media Lab
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The use of the 'finger reader' extends beyond the needs of visually impaired, to be used as a translator, merely by a single gesture of touch. 

Students of MIT Media Lab have introduced wearable technology that might replace brailles - the books for blind; and revolutionize prevailing translation technology, taking it beyond mobile apps and internet.

The Finger Reader by students of MIT Media Lab
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Interestingly, the common human act of pointing one’s index finger to read has effectively been used in this very handy gadget, giving it a natural user interface. 

Here’s how it works…
Worn on the index finger, one scrolls the finger below the written text. The camera positioned in front, at the tip of the finger, scans the written text and processes it into an audio message. Haptic actuators placed on the device ensure effective navigation of the finger through the text. It nudges/ vibrates, inducing the finger to change direction or move to the next line.  The flexibility facilitates reversal and simultaneously, guides one’s pace.
 
The Finger Reader by students of MIT Media Lab
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The device proves to be handy in almost all situations. As it stretches beyond just being a tool for the blind, it is also looked as a possible solution for people with dyslexia, second language learners, tourists in need of translation, young children learning their first language or even people recovering from brain trauma. Take the example of a situation, where you get a menu at a restaurant in France or a visually challenged person needs to read a notice at a bank, wouldn't it be a difficult situation to be in, without the finger reader? Of course, this gadget is the need of the hour!

The Finger Reader by students of MIT Media Lab
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In terms of design, it is not fully explored yet. The language translator application is yet to be incorporated into the prototype, making for a seamless real time experience.  
The Finger Reader by students of MIT Media Lab
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Although it is currently integrated with a computer, in the near future one can expect  it to be smart phone compatible as well. 

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