[AI] The KnfbReader Mobile:

Gopalakrishnan gopalakrishnan_vip at yahoo.co.in
Mon May 5 21:29:04 EDT 2008


For further information, go to the link:

With regards,

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "sabari priya" <sabaripri at gmail.com>
To: <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 11:25 PM
Subject: Re: [AI] The KnfbReader Mobile:

> Hello,
> Thank you for sending useful information.
> Can you specify the download link for trial version.  It will be off great 
> help.
> Thank you.
> R. Sabari Priya.
> 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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