Or-cam has developed a camera-based systemintended to give the visually impaird the ability to read & move!
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onto Amazing Science
From http://www.nytimes.com – Today, 6:02 AM
A company has developed a camera-based system intended to give the visually impaired the ability to both “read” easily and move freely.
Liat Negrin, an Israeli who has been visually impaired since childhood, walked into a grocery store here recently, picked up a can of vegetables and easily read its label using a simple and unobtrusive camera attached to her glasses. Ms. Negrin, who has coloboma, a birth defect that perforates a structure of the eye and afflicts about 1 in 10,000 people, is an employee at OrCam, an Israeli start-up that has developed a camera-based system intended to give the visually impaired the ability to both “read” easily and move freely.
Until now reading aids for the visually impaired and the blind have been cumbersome devices that recognize text in restricted environments, or, more recently, have been software applications on smartphones that have limited capabilities.
In contrast, the OrCam device is a small camera worn in the style of Google Glass, connected by a thin cable to a portable computer designed to fit in the wearer’s pocket. The system clips on to the wearer’s glasses with a small magnet and uses a bone-conduction speaker to offer clear speech as it reads aloud the words or object pointed to by the user.
The system is designed to both recognize and speak “text in the wild,” a term used to describe newspaper articles as well as bus numbers, and objects as diverse as landmarks, traffic lights and the faces of friends.
It currently recognizes English-language text and beginning this week will be sold through the company’s Web site for $2,500, about the cost of a midrange hearing aid. It is the only product, so far, of the privately held company, which is part of the high-tech boom in Israel.
The device is quite different from other technology that has been developed to give some vision to people who are blind, like the artificial retina system called Argus II, made by Second Sight Medical Products. That system, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February, allows visual signals to bypass a damaged retina and be transmitted to the brain.
- Learning about Visual Impairments. (year2blogpsm.wordpress.com)
- Visual impairment kept this genius from getting into JEE, Stanford welcomes him (ndtv.com)
- Odin Mobile set to launch as first US mobile carrier for the visually impaired (engadget.com)
- Top free android apps for the visually impaired. (leedsnorthern.wordpress.com)
- OrCam aims to improve quality of life for the visually impaired (gizmag.com)
- OrCam’s $2,500 augmented reality glasses speak words aloud, help the visually impaired ‘see’ (theverge.com)
- OrCam sees for the visually impaired, relays information via bone conduction (slashgear.com)
- Odin Mobile to Launch as the First US Mobile Carrier for the Visually Impaired (medgadget.com)
- OrCam Will Help The Visually Impaired Read Anywhere (nocamels.com)
- Camera-based system designed by Israeli start-up gives visually-impaired ability to ‘read’ (irishtimes.com)
by Jean F. Andrews (http://deafinprison.wordpress.com)
Map of the USA in ASL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
American Sign Language (ASL) is seldom learned early by parents of deaf children when the diagnoses of hearing loss occurs. As a result, few deaf children have strong ASL role models in the home. This has important educational implications. But it also has criticaL repercussions when the deaf child grows into a deaf adult and gets caught in the criminal justice system.
In almost all (with the exception of one), cases where I interviewed deaf suspects or inmates, I have found that they had learned ASL after the age of five. Some even learned it later in junior high or high school. Most all had English reading levels of 4th grade or below.
ASL plays a critical role in a deaf individual’s overall linguistic competence in both ASL and in English. When they learn ASL late, this often delays their ability to learn English. Research has shown strong links between later ASL proficiency and English Literacy.
Lack of ASL proficiency also affects their abilities to effectively work with a sign language interpreter in a police, legal or correctional setting.
Part of the problem is that we have few strong ASL/English bilingual Early Childhood Programs so deaf children are delayed in access to ASL. Another part of the problem is that hearing parents are too busy to learn ASL. They work long hours in jobs where they cannot fit in a sign language class. As a result, their deaf child becomes their sign language teacher and this further delays the deaf child’s acquisition of concepts and language structures because they do not have strong ASL linguistic role models.
One solution to helping parents learn ASL is through online ASL classes. With today’s technology, the video quality is quite good and recent research by Dr. Curt Radford, Professor of Deaf Education at Utah State University has shown that online ASL learning is possible. His recent dissertation completed at Lamar University found that university students in the ASL online class did just as well as ASL students in face to face class.
One creative outcome of Dr. Radford’s research is that he has recently developed an online ASL program for parents. It is reasonably priced and available 24/7 for today’s working parent. www.deafed.org
It may seem like a long stretch to connect early ASL acquisition and signing abilities of deaf adults in the criminal justice system who have difficulty understanding sign language interpreters. But the relationship is there. When audiologists, physicians, and educators deny the deaf children and his parents with information on the benefits of ASL as a language, they are not seeing the big picture. Deaf children need English and ASL as early as possible to achieve linguistic competence in both languages. And Dr. Radford’s parent ASL online course as well as other available online resources that achieve this same goal are good places to start.
Jean F. Andrews is a Reading Specialist and Professor of Deaf Studies/Deaf Education at Lamar University.
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- Sandy Update #2 (hello.typepad.com)
- Students lobby for more ASL courses, minor (tuftsdaily.com)
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- Black American Sign Language is distinct from its mainstream counterpart, study shows (thegrio.com)