The OrCam Read Will Make Reading Inclusive For People With Disabilities

Published on January 13, 2021

Reading can be difficult for people with disabilities. Learning differences like dyslexia or visual impairments can significantly interfere with one’s ability to read and understand written words. That in turn interferes with quality of life. OrCam Read is changing all of that.

What Is It?

This handheld device provides immediate audio playback. It can read out the text from newspapers, labels, books, textbooks, computers, and smartphone screens. It employs point-and-click technology with two precision laser guidance options. These options ensure you’re reading the text you want to be reading.

For people with mild to moderate vision impairment, reading fatigue, dyslexia, aphasia, and other conditions, as well as those who just read a lot of text at a time, this technology is a game changer.

The OrCam Read processes all the text offline. This offline functioning ensures data protection. The fact that it doesn’t require an internet connection makes it easy to bring everywhere and use all the time. However, both Bluetooth and WiFi are enabled, so the device can connect wireless headphones for privacy.

In addition to the ability to function offline, the device is also only the size of a pen and weighs just 45 grams. Its small size makes it really easy to transport and even more accessible for folks who want to read on the go.

Why It’s Great

“We extended our personal AI offerings to include OrCam Read, a new form factor which is a lightweight, handheld device that intuitively empowers people who have reading difficulties. The device brings back the joy of reading, as it instantly reads aloud full pages or screens of text,” explained Dr. Yonatan Wexler, OrCam Executive Vice President of Research & Development in a press release. “It can be challenging for a wide range of people who need reading support for work, academics, or for simply delighting in the pleasure of it. Using the computer vision technology that OrCam pioneered creates an enjoyable reading experience.  This ability to instantly hear text relieves the burden of reading and enables focusing on the content with ease.”

The thing about the OrCam read is that it’s definitely an expensive investment. It retails for $1,990, which begs the question: is it worth the price? For students and reading lovers, yes. It’s a hefty price tag, but it comes with a product that delivers.

“People with mild to moderate vision still retain some functional vision,” said Dr. Bryan Wolynski, leading optometrist and consultant to OrCam. “For these people, OrCam Read offers a new opportunity for increased independence through access to text, in any setting, at any time.”

The OrCam read is designed to empower and foster independence in people with disabilities. It’s a brand-new approach to reading assistance

Olivia Smith is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

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