The Haptic Reader: The Scanner for the Blind
Even those who aren’t blind can appreciate the benefits of the Haptic Reader (HR). It’s basically a flat tablet users can plant on book pages to scan. The reader converts the scanned text into Braille, raising the surface of the opposite side for blind readers to touch-read. The gadget was designed “by researchers at Handong Global University and Keimyung University, both in South Korea,” and can convert the scanned text into voice as well. I’m assuming the HR should be able to save scanned pages?
Too bad the Haptic Reader isn’t available on the market yet, being a design concept and all. Maybe its winning the 2009 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) would make it more attractive to manufacturers? In any case, here’s to hoping it won’t be prohibitively expensive, be capable of deciphering handwritten text, and available to the non-Korean blind.