There are devices out there that will magnify text using fancy cameras and displays, devices that will convert these to Braille, and text-to-speech software has been around for thirty years. For his entry into our Raspberry Pi Zero contest, [Markus] decided to combine all these ideas into a simple device that will turn the printed word into speech.
The impetus for [Markus]’ project came to him in the form of a group of blind computer science students. These students used a specialized program that used specialized hardware and software such as mobile Braille terminals, OCR, and oral exams that allowed these students to study the same thing as everyone else. [Markus] wanted to produce something similar, using simple text-to-speech software instead of a complicated Braille display.
The physical design of [Markus]’ project is uniquely functional – a hand-held device with a camera up front, a Pi in the middle, and a speaker and headphone jack on the back. The hand grip includes a large battery and a trigger for telling the Pi to read a few words aloud.
The software is built around the SnapPicam and includes a lot of the functionality already needed. OCR is largely a solved problem with Tesseract, and text-to-speech is easy with Festival.
Although [Markus] is just plugging a few existing software modules together, he’s come up with a device that is certainly unique and could be exceptionally useful to anyone with a vision impairment.
The Raspberry Pi Zero contest is presented by Hackaday and Adafruit. Prizes include Raspberry Pi Zeros from Adafruit and gift cards to The Hackaday Store!
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7 thoughts on “Mobile Text Reader With OCR And Text To Speech”
How would you know where to point it?
Sorry, couldn’t resist :)
but seriously that is an extremely valid point.
very nice, great idea for a Pi with camera.
I could see this used for those traveling in foreign countries. Scan the text, get a translation.
That is what Google translate on Android phones does anyway.
or WordLens on Android phone
translates in picture
Cool project. :)
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