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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.
SmileCloud Bubloons Are Custom Clouds
'Spurgle kicked at the letter G... It was a monstrous white thing, ten feet thick, half a city block long...' - Alan Nelson, 1953.
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!
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.
Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.
Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'
NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.
Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'
SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'
Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'
Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.
Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?
Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''
China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'
iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'
Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.
RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories