K-NFB Portable Text To Speech

K-NFB, a portable device that scans text and reads it back to visually impaired people will be on sale in the UK by July of 2006. The device was developed by Ray Kurzweil.


(Ray Kurzweil's K-NFB Portable Text To Speech)

The device takes a few seconds to process the image; when processing is done, the device reads the text aloud. The device comes with a set of earbuds, although it is also equipped with Bluetooth to make use of other devices.

The device will cost approximately 2,625 (that's about US$4,800), which makes it a bit pricey. However, the device is far less costly than one of Kurzweil's earlier efforts, a similar device created in 1981. The "Reading Machine" was the size of a washing machine and cost more than $50,000.

This is yet another area in which science fiction writers were first to describe a demand. In his 1934 story The Lost Language, writer David H. Keller describes a device that is actually able to make speech from printed text - the sound-transposing machine:

In a month's time, tired people will be placing pages of a book in their machine and hear it read to them..."

Then an entire page of the lad's typing was run through the sound-transposing machine, purposely slowed so that the sounds could be differentiated.
(Read more about the sound-transposing machine)

If you are interested in science-fictional translation devices, check out the babelfish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and of course George Orwell's Speakwrite, which does the opposite trick - speech-to-text. Read a bit more about Reading 'to go' for blind people; also, check out Ray Kurzweil's website.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/27/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...' - Vernor Vinge, 1999.

Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!

Sansar Social Virtual Reality Platform In 2017?
'And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities...' - Vernor VInge, 1981.

Publishing Technologies In Science Fiction
In response to a reader question, a set of links related to publishing technologies in science fiction

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.