[AI] A low-cost camera mouse can help those with blurred vision to read the fine print

Shiv shivraheja at gmail.com
Sat May 3 11:32:54 EDT 2008

      Thinking BIG 

                  A low-cost camera mouse can help those with blurred vision to read the fine print 
                  Posted On Sunday, April 27, 2008 
                  Anand Sachar

                  Those with blurred vision have some relief in sight now. They need not struggle over small print, or depend on the size of print that newspapers or magazines choose to use. With a camera mouse in hand, they can tackle even the footnotes. M S Raju is the man with the vision, who has made this possible. President of the Vision Aid Charitable Services Society in Vishakhapatnam, and an electrical engineer by profession, Raju has come up with a low cost camera mouse, to help visually-disadvantaged people. He was awarded a grant of Rs 50,000 grant by the Ministry of Science and Technology for this innovation, and has worked on it for three years. The most heartening feature of this technology application for the common man is its low cost. "The international devices cost Rs 25,000 upwards. 

                  Another one, which is available in India, is big and heavy, and costs Rs 7000. This one costs Rs 2000, and so is likely to be of more help to the visually impaired people in our country," says Raju. How does it work? Says Raju, "The camera mouse is a palm-sized handheld device that can be connected to your regular television set. People with low vision can move this camera mouse over the text they want to read. For instance, if they move it slowly across the columns of a newspaper article, a scanned magnified picture of the print will appear on the TV screen in real time. The magnification is up to 20 times." Thus people with low vision can see bright colour images of any printed or written material on the TV screen. 

                  It doesn't require rocket science to use it either. And no, it does not interfere with working of normal cable TV or antenna-received programmes, as it uses the video signal route. 

                  The camera mouse is light, less than 100 gms, and looks like a small digital camera. "In fact, it uses a miniature movie camera," explains Raju. It requires a simple one socket connection. This small size and portability is an innovation too. 

                  The parts are not too costly. The main parts are a high-tech miniature movie colour camera and a special low voltage circuit. The Vision Aid Society, which distributes it, covers it with warranty. The society also helps to repair the device if anything goes wrong with it.



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