[AI] The KnfbReader Mobile:

Ram Kumar drkwisdom at gmail.com
Sun May 4 11:09:09 EDT 2008


Sir, great to know about this advancement. But does this knfreader
support only nokia n82?

On 5/4/08, Sanjay <ilovecold at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>                            The KnfbReader Mobile:
>                           An Individual Perspective
>                             by Michael D. Barber
>                                 ************
>       From the Editor: Michael Barber is president of the NFB of Iowa. He
> is also a technology specialist who works at the Iowa Department for the
> Blind. He has been using the new knfbReader Mobile. Here is his report:
>                                 ************
>       It is late Thursday evening, and I have just checked into my motel
> room in a small Iowa town. After I get my computer set up (always a high
> priority), I start looking around for printed material I know exists in
> this room. For instance, I want to know what TV channels are available. I
> search to the left of the TV, and there it is--a letter-sized sheet of
> paper.
>       From my pocket I take my Nokia N82 cell phone and turn it on by
> pressing a button on the top of the phone. Soon I hear the familiar Nokia
> music sounds letting me know the phone is active. Then I press a button
> just to the left and a bit above the five-way scroll box on the phone. I
> hear a message that says, "Hello. I am the knfbReader Mobile."
>       Yes, that's right, reading software is now available in a small cell
> phone. Ray Kurzweil, the world-acclaimed inventor, promised us six years
> ago that by 2008 we would enjoy reading portability we could put in our
> shirt pockets, and now it's here. It's the knfbReader Mobile, and it does
> fit in my shirt pocket.
>       This is amazing to me considering where all this began. You see, I
> remember the very first reading machine back in 1976. That machine took up
> two tables and cost about $50,000. It was Ray Kurzweil who invented that
> machine as a result of a conversation he had on an airplane with a blind
> person who told him that, although he could accomplish many tasks
> independently, it would be nice if he could read printed material on his
> own. Back in those days we were impressed with a machine that could scan
> and read back to us a letter, a memo, or even a book. Even then Mr.
> Kurzweil was promising reading portability within the next twenty-five
> years.
>       Years went by, and many of us will remember the Arkenstone and
> Arkenclone machines, the VERA, and other systems that helped us to read the
> printed page. But none of these was portable. We first saw portability as a
> reality in 2005 with the advent of the Kurzweil-National Federation of the
> Blind Reader. This was comprised of a standard PDA with a digital camera
> attached to it. With this device we could read our mail, office memos,
> printed receipts, and later U.S. currency. Portable as this was, it was
> still too bulky to put into a pocket comfortably.
>       But now we have a truly portable reading device combined with a cell
> phone. With the addition of screen-reading software such as Mobile Speaks
> or Talks, it is now possible to access the other functions of the phone,
> including making and receiving phone calls and managing personal
> information such as names and phone numbers of contacts and appointments in
> the calendar. The phone also offers an accessible GPS program, an Adobe PDF
> reading program, a voice recorder, a music player, and much more. Wonderful
> as it is, this particular phone, the Nokia N82, offers access to AT&T or T-
> Mobile only. It will not work with Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, or other
> non-GSM networks.
>       The Nokia N82 is about the size of a Milky Way candy bar, and unlike
> too many other cell phones, its keypad is very easy to feel. The buttons
> have just the right amount of space between them and are raised enough so
> that they can be located easily by touch. And the phone has two gigabytes
> of memory. (For those of you who may not be techno geeks like me, that's a
> whale of a lot of memory.) Above the keypad is a square box, which is
> called the five-way scroll box. This box contains up, down, left, right,
> and enter buttons. To the left of the box is a button that activates
> different functions, depending on what area of the button you press.
> Pressing the top of this square button will activate the knfbReader Mobile.
> Pressing the very small button on the extreme left edge of the phone will
> activate the phone's Send feature. Pressing the bottom edge of the button
> will bring up the phone's main menu. To the right of the five-way scroll
> box is the End Call button, the top edge of which can be pressed to exit
> the knfbReader Mobile. If you turn the phone around so that the back of it
> is facing you, you'll find a slide switch that moves from left to right.
> When this switch is moved to the left, the camera lens is closed; when it's
> moved to the right, the lens is open, and you can take a picture.
>       Back in my motel room I position the cell phone over the page and
> about a foot above it. My finger moves to the bottom edge of the five-way
> scroll box, and I gently press it. knfbReader Mobile announces, "Taking
> picture," followed by the sound of a camera snapping a picture. This is
> followed by some fifteen seconds in which I hear periodic beeps while the
> image is being processed. Then I hear the various channels available to me.
> My curiosity leads me to other printed material in the room, and I learn
> that, if I had forgotten my toothpaste, toothbrush, or shaving cream, all I
> would have to do is to call the front desk to get help. Most important,
> though, I can tell which package of coffee is not decaffeinated.
> Additionally, I am able to use the reader to read the dialing instructions
> on the room phone just above its keypad.
>       But that's not all this device is capable of. I recently visited an
> ATM machine and withdrew $50. I had three bills. I knew that one was a ten-
> dollar bill, but which one? All I had to do was to position the reader
> above the bill and press the zero key on the keypad. A picture was taken,
> and the bill was recognized as the ten I was looking for. And, by pressing
> the pound key followed by the zero, I could tell whether I was looking at
> the back or front of the bill and which direction it was facing.
>       You can customize the reader by changing the many user settings
> available to you. For example, by pressing the number 7 key on the keypad,
> you can enter the audio settings and change the rate, pitch, and volume of
> the speech as well as changing to any installed voice. If you have some
> vision, you can adjust the size of the print on the screen by pressing the
> number 9 key and choosing between small, medium, and large. There is also a
> setting here for turning the display off.
>       Thus far I've been able to read my personal mail (including bills,
> junk mail, etc.), some catalogs, pages in a phone book, memos, receipts,
> and business cards. As noted earlier, I've also been able to scan and
> recognize various denominations of bills. Additionally, I was visiting a
> financial institution very recently where I was waiting for my wife to fill
> out a document. In front of me on the counter was a stack of printed
> material. I almost forgot and asked my wife what they were, but then I
> remembered I had my knfbReader Mobile with me and found that it was a
> personal survey a person could take to see if he or she was ready for
> retirement.
>       I have been impressed with the clarity of speech from this little
> device as well as the accuracy of the optical character recognition. As
> with any scanning and reading software, you do not always get 100 percent
> accuracy, but in many instances it's very close. Reading catalogs or
> magazines with a lot of colored text can sometimes be a challenge and may
> slow down the recognition process.
>       So how does this device compare with Kurzweil 1000 and OpenBook, the
> two desktop solutions that are in wide use today? The most obvious
> comparison is that you can scan and read documents with all three systems.
> You can also scan and recognize currency with all three systems. All three
> systems will let you save your scanned document, but both OpenBook and
> Kurzweil 1000 allow you to save your document in many different file
> formats. The huge difference is portability. With both Kurzweil and
> OpenBook, you must have both a computer and scanner, and neither of these
> is truly portable. With the knfbReader Mobile, you have a system that truly
> can be carried in a pocket.
>       As I think about the future of this device, I would like to see the
> following:
> A few more available file formats for saving documents; right now there is
> only one.
> The ability to send a file to yourself or someone else by email.
> The ability to use a Braille display so those who are deaf-blind can enjoy
> reading portability.
>       All in all, this is an excellent piece of technology and will prove
> to be very useful to me both at home and at work. It will be very useful
> for the person attending conferences or seminars where there may be
> handouts. It would also be useful for the college student who goes to a
> class where the instructor distributes handouts that must be read
> immediately. I do not recommend using the knfbReader Mobile to recognize
> money handed back to you while you're at the head of a long checkout line
> at a department store or supermarket; the task of scanning each bill is
> still time consuming.
>       Finally, I found that the excellent audio tutorial, narrated by James
> Gashel, was very easy to follow and had me up and running in no time at
> all. Everything you need to know about the reader to get you started
> scanning documents or recognizing currency is delivered in very clear
> terms.
>       You can obtain more information about the knfbReader Mobile,
> including where to buy, directly from knfbReader Technologies. The Web
> address is <http://www.knfbreader.com/products-mobile.php>. The phone
> number to call is (877) 547-1500. The knfbReader Mobile sells for $2,195.
> This price includes the reading software and the Nokia N82 phone but not a
> calling plan or the Talks or Mobile Speak software.
>
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-- 
With wishes, D, Ramkumar PHD in English Pondicherry university-a
central university




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