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The KNFB Reader App Aims To Make Life Easier For The Visually Impaired

Previously on Vulcan Post, we covered a piece on FingerReader, a gadget that, in the researchers’ words, “assists in reading printed text.” That’s right, it reads to the visually impaired.

With the advancement in technology, apps like these are no longer a novelty anymore. On the other hand, when it comes to good apps, it’s another story. The KNFB Reader iOS is one such app that has an interesting range of features designed for capturing and reading documents.

Wondering how the app works? Hit the play button and see it for yourself!

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The KNFB Reader app boasts of eight cool features: multi-language support, read multi-page documents, import and export documents (hello, Dropbox!), automatic text detection, text navigation, viewfinder and tilt assist, synchronised text highlighting, and reading modes for single and multicolumn formats.

According to its description on iTunes, the “analysis technology determines the words and reads them aloud to the user with high quality text-to-speech and Braille access”. And it comes with a price tag. A quick search on iTunes shows that the app costs $99.99. I personally feel that it’s a reasonable price — after all, you get what you pay for. Besides, Daily Mail reports that most screen readers cost $250 to $1500, so really, how could I complain?

app
Image Credit: iTunes

When a user wants to read a printed document, all he have to do is hold the phone above it, and the app will scan it for writing. If it is placed wrongly, the user will be guided to switch the device or the paper’s position. Once it is placed in the right location, the app takes a picture of the text and reads back to the user.

Mark Riccobono, the President of the National Federation of the Blind says, “This app will fundamentally change the everyday lives of many blind people, helping us to get the information we need and live the lives we want.” Thanks to the Airplane mode, the KNFB Reader app takes things to a whole new level: it can be used on planes and underground.

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Image Credit: KKNFB Reader iOS

The KNFB Reader app is currently compatible with iPhone 5 and above. Do note that these devices must be running iOS7 or higher for the app to work. Built in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind, Google employee Ray Kurzweil and Belgium-based firm Sensotec NV, it was recently reported that the app will be made available on Android very soon. According to Reuters, Kurzweil is planning to develop a version for Google Glass.

The KNFB Reader iOS is one of the most highly anticipated apps in the market. If you do a quick Google search, you would find out that it’s making waves in various publications (India Today, The Malay Mail Online, NBC News) around the globe.

It’s not hard to see why, as this is a revolutionary app.

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