US scientists have developed a wearable device that allows blind people to read traditional paper books. The results of the study are presented in the “ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing” magazine. Today, people with impaired vision can only read special books with braille texts. They can also get acquainted with e-books: some reading programs contain a voice assistant module. However, they cannot read traditional paper books.
To solve this problem, researchers from the University of Maryland developed HandSight device. It represents a chamber with a diameter of one millimetre, which is used in medical probes. The camera is mounted in the enclosure with a vibration motor. HandSight is connected to a computer via a cable. The user moves his finger across the page, and the image from the camera is transmitted to a computer which reads the text. Simultaneously, the computer analyses the location of the finger: if it is put on the page incorrectly and the camera sees only a part of the line, or doesn’t not see it at all, the device will help the reader find the right position with the help of vibration signals.