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Intel launches ebook reader for vision impaired

Intel's ebook, the Reader, reads text aloud

Chip-giant Intel has announced an ebook reader aimed at those with reading difficulties, and the visually impaired.

The ebook, dubbed simply Intel Reader, converts printed text to digital text before reading it aloud. 

Intel is aiming the Intel Reader at people who have specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, and those with vision problems.

The Intel Reader is the brainchild of Ben Foss, a researcher at Intel, who has symptoms of dyslexia. 

Launching the Intel Reader, he said: ‘I’m thrilled to be able to help level the playing field for people who, like me, do not have easy access to the printed word.’

‘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,’ continued Foss.

Check out our ebook reader first looks and ebook reader reviews

How does the Intel Reader work?

Used with Intel’s portable capture station, the Intel Reader can capture or scan in books or newspapers, which it will then read back to the user.

Foss is so confident in the Intel Reader’s abilities that he has issued a challenge to high-profile dyslexic Richard Branson that if he doesn’t like the device Intel chief Paul Otellini will wash a Virgin Plane – an offer that stands until January 1, 2010.

The Intel Reader is available to buy today, from amazon.co.uk, HumanWare and Inclusive Technology but comes with a £999 price tag.

Which? Computing senior researcher, Andy Woodward said: ‘Ebooks are a burgeoning new technology. The question of their accessibility is an interesting one, and one that we’ll look at when we test the devices in our March 2010 issue.

‘This is clearly aimed at a slightly different market to conventional ebook readers. It’s potentially an empowering technology for those who may otherwise be excluded but it’s a shame about the high price tag.’ 

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