OrCam Read Is the Digital AI Assistive Reading Device We’ve Been Waiting For

I can’t imagine a world in which I couldn’t read anything put in front of me (assuming it was in a language I understood, of course), but for many people that is a reality. Whether because of dyslexia, illiteracy, moderate vision impairment, reading fatigue, or aphasia, many people can’t do something I take for granted. OrCam Read is here to help.

OrCam Read Is the Digital AI Assistive Reading Device We've Been Waiting For

The first device like this of its kind, the OrCam Read is an AI-driven digital reader designed for people who have difficulty reading for whatever reason. The OrCam read is designed to be easy to use, and when used it will instantly read full pages or digital screens of text out loud. Think about that for a moment.

OrCam Read Is the Digital AI Assistive Reading Device We've Been Waiting For

The OrCam Read is a lightweight handheld device that can help anyone who has reading difficulties. Whether you need it to read for work, academics, or personal pleasure, the OrCam Read can help its users by giving them the ability to instantly hear any text on a page or display.

Using OrCam Read’s proprietary AI algorithms, its intuitive point-and-click operation activates two precision laser guidance options so that the OrCam Read can “read the entire highlighted text or target where to begin reading. The wireless device provides instant audio playback, communicating text from newspapers, books, computer and smartphone screens, product labels and other surfaces.”

While this system isn’t made for someone who is profoundly blind (because the operator has to have at least mild to moderate vision to aim the device at the desired text), the OrCam Read is perfect for just about anyone else who has difficulty reading the written words in front of them.

People with mild to moderate vision still retain some functional vision. For these people, OrCam Read offers a new opportunity for increased independence through access to text, in any setting, at any time. – Dr. Bryan Wolynski, leading optometrist and consultant to OrCam

The OrCam Read uses a modified 13-megapixel smart camera, and it processes everything entirely offline without the need for an internet connection; this gives you privacy while also providing real-time audio communication. In low-light situations, the Read’s built-in high-intensity LED light will illuminate the material to be read.

Sized like a fat highlighter, the OrCam Read weighs just 1.55 ounces and it measures 4.8″ long by 0.98″ wide by 0.5″ thick. If you want to connect the Orcam Read to headphones or earbuds for private reading, you’ll appreciate that it is both WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled which also means it will be able to accept periodic software updates. The device has a 700mAh battery which can provide up to 4 hours of continuous use.

OrCam Read users can look forward to a soon-to-be-released natural language processing (NLP) “interactive reading” feature. This “AI-driven feature enables the user to read only text of interest via voice commands such as “read headlines”, “read phone numbers”, or “find” a specific word.”

The OrCam Read will be available by the end of this month; it will retail for $1900.

Learn more at the OrCam Site.


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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.