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Intel spins text-to-speech device for the visually impaired

Nov 11, 2009, 22:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Brown)

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"Developed by the Intel Digital Health Group, the Intel Reader is the brainchild of Intel researcher Ben Foss, one of an estimated 20 percent of people in the U.S. with dyslexia. The device also targets users with learning disabilities or vision problems. In the U.S. alone, some 55 million people have dyslexia, vision problems, or other serious reading handicaps, the company says.

"The 1.4-pound, 6.5 x 5.4 x 1.3-inch e-reader scans text, quickly converts it to digital format using OCR (optical character recognition), then uses text-to-speech technology to read it aloud. Based on the Intel Atom Z540 processor, the rarely used high-end 1.86GHz member of the Atom family, the Intel Reader runs embedded Linux. (One news report suggested the device runs Moblin, which would make sense, although we did not see any evidence of this.)

"The Intel Reader is equipped with 512MB RAM and a 4GB solid state drive (SSD), of which 2GB is available for user storage. This is said to be enough to hold 600 image-enhanced "processed pages" (with up to 20 pages waiting to be processed), or up to 500,000 text-only pages."

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