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Future Proof Ideas since 2005, by Erwin van Lun

Cell phone that reads from paper

k-Reader is smart software from American company K-NFB Reading for the cell phone, which makes it possible for the phone to read out text on paper. In the video you can see a demonstration (skip to 6:30). A photo of packaging, a flyer or newspaper article is read out. The k-Reader software is installed on the Nokia N82 for about 1,200 Euros.

Future Vision by Erwin Van Lun on this article

This innovation is characterized as an important development for blind people, but it’s in fact even more important. It reduces the necessity of literacy. Stronger still, in countries in which people can’t read this means an enormous amount of progress. Of course a lot still has to happen: the readings will become more fluent in the coming years, for example. And we won’t need to take a picture anymore, but just wave the cell phone past with the spoken question of ‘what does that say?’ and it’ll be enough. And a step after will be also if it’s written in a foreign language.

It’ll help third world economies enormously with the development of their country without people learning to read. It’ll take away the hurdle of visiting a country where you don’t speak the language. It’ll bring together people from all over the world in a different way. It starts with a useful device for the blind.

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