KNFB Reader

a person taking a photo with a cell phone

There’s an app on the market right now that’s changing how blind, low-vision, dyslexic, and other print-disabled users are able to interact with text. KNFB Reader uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to instantly capture and convert virtually any type of text into audio or Braille which can then be played back, shared, or printed from a Braille embosser.

Let’s take a look at how this technology works:

How it works

Like we mentioned earlier, KNFB reader uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to capture and convert text. More specifically, the app uses the users’ smartphone (or laptop) camera to capture and import text, which KNFB can then read out loud. Users then have the option to save the document as a file on their smartphone, or to have it uploaded to their Dropbox in a range of file formats.

Features

Multi-Page Mode

– quickly and easily captures multiple pages for use with books, manuals, and other long-format materials.

Stand Mode

– takes photos of text automatically as you turn the page. This works especially well with Batch Mode for books and other longer materials.

Supports Multiple Formats

– KNFB reader captures single and multi-column formats, which is difficult for other reader apps to do.

Highlights

– As the text is being read out loud, the app highlights the portion of text being spoken, which is great for users with reading disabilities such as dyslexia, as well as for users with low vision.

Customizable

– Backgrounds, spacing, color, and font size can be easily customized to best suit the users’ needs.

Multilingual

– KNFB Reader recognizes and reads printed materials in a variety of languages including English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Turkish, Polish, Norwegian, Russian, Finnish, Ukrainian, Estonian, Bulgarian, Czech, and Greek, with more being added constantly.

screenshot of KNFB reader

What can it read?

The app can read printed memos reports, fliers, and virtually any other kind of document typically printed from a personal computer. It will also read many professionally printed items of various sizes, colors, and styles, including:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Most restaurant menus
  • Utility bills
  • Printed mailing addresses
  • Class or conference handouts
  • Hotel bills
  • Printed receipts
  • Airline boarding passes
  • Labels on packaged foods showing contents and nutrition information
  • Transit brochures and schedules
  • CD labels

KNFB Reader is available for iOS, Android, and Windows 10. Users can trial the app for free for 25 uses, and the full version costs $99 with multiple options for licensing.

Tags: apps, assistive technology, AT HelpDesk

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A little technology, a lot of independence.