In order to address this problem,
Intel is launching the Reader, a mobile device the size of a
paperback book that converts printed text to digital text and then
reads it aloud to the user. It combines a 5 megapixel camera with an
Intel Atom processor, allowing users to point, shoot and listen to
printed text. Storage is through a 4GB Intel
Solid State Drive, while a rechargeable 3300 mAh 6-cell
lithium-ion battery allows for four hours of continuous speech.
Earphones are included for those who wish to listen privately to
words being read. The Intel Reader weighs only 1.38 lbs (.63kg),
even for young children.
The Intel Reader can also be
used together with a Portable Capture Station in order to capture
large amounts of text. This way, an entire book can be easily
captured for reading later.
The original concept for the Intel
Reader came from Ben Foss, currently the Director of Access
Technology for Intel. He was identified in elementary school as
having symptoms of dyslexia. Throughout high school, college and
graduate school, he had to depend on others to read to him or work
through the slow process of getting words off of a page himself. Most
of the content
he wanted to read from professional journals or magazines wasn’t
available in audio form.
“As someone who is part of this
dyslexic community, I am thrilled to be able to help level the
playing field for people who, like me, do not have easy access to the
printed word,” Foss said. “Feelings of loneliness are often the
experience of not being able to read easily. We hope to open the
doors for people in these communities. The Intel Reader is a tool
that can help give people with dyslexia, low-vision, blindness or
other reading-based disabilities access to the resources they need to
participate and be successful in school, work and life.”
Intel Reader has been endorsed by the International Dyslexia
Association as an important advance in assistive technology. Intel is
also working with the Association of Assistive Technology Act
Programs, the Council for Exceptional Children, Lighthouse
International, the National Center for Learning Disabilities and the
National Federation of the Blind to help reach and address the needs
of people who have difficulty reading print.
Digital Health Group’s expertise is in finding innovative
technology solutions to improve quality of life,” said Louis Burns,
vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Health Group.
“We are proud to offer the Intel Reader as a tool for people who
have trouble reading standard print so they can more easily access
the information many of us take for granted every day, such as
reading a job offer letter or even the menu at a
Although Intel is backing the manufacturing of
the Reader, it will still be produced in low volumes initially. The
Intel Reader currently sells at $1,500, while the Portable Capture
Station sells for $400. Both are available now at specialized
learning suppliers such as Computer Technology Link, Don Johnston,
Howard Technology Solutions, and HumanWare.
Intel expects the
price of the Reader with higher volume production once more consumers
experience its utility. It may also start targeting the elderly and
parents eager to help their children learn to read.