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Allows the reading impaired to hear both printed and handwritten text by converting recognized sentences into synthesized speech.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 285 million people that are visually impaired. Specifically in the United States, there are 1.3 million who are legally blind and only 10 percent of them can actually read braille and only 10 percent of the blind children are learning it. This is due to how expensive books are to read in braille. It costs up to $15,000 just to convert five chapters of a science book! Due to the price, very few blind people are able to learn through books. People who are reading impaired or suffer vision loss also struggle to read. While many can use audio-books, they are still limited on what they can read based on audio books’ availability and costs. Books are the cheapest way to learn and 285 million people are unable to take advantage of this resource we greatly take for granted. The Reading Eye device would allow more freedom in terms of book choice, without having to make investments towards buying several audio-books. It is able to detect printed and handwritten text and speak it in a realistic synthesized voice.

My whole inspiration for this project was to help my grandmother who’s vision degrades everyday due to age. I then thought of all the others who suffer due to bad vision or reading disabilities which motivated me to pursue this project.”

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