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Thursday, September 24, 2009

InformA, Information System for Blind and Visually Impaired writes:

The artificial intelligence group at Freie Universität Berlin, under the direction of the computer science professor Raúl Rojas, has developed a new type of information system for blind and visually impaired individuals. Field trials are being carried out (...)

“InformA” is a small computer that is connected wirelessly to the Internet. The device is operated like a radio. The user can choose between different information channels. By pressing a button, the time or the weather will be announced, but there are also current newspapers available as audio files (...)

In addition, e-mails can be read aloud by the device. The user can answer e-mails by dictating a message. An integrated camera makes it possible to have printed documents such as letters or package information leaflets read aloud fully automatically. In more complicated cases – such as a statement of account for a heating bill – the user of the device can take a photo of the document and send it to a call center. Persons doing community service instead of military service ... then provide further assistance. “Through the wealth of information provided by InformA, the device can also be of interest for older people without previous experience with computers, who until now have not had access to information offered through the Internet,” according to the project leader, Raúl Rojas.

[Thanks Gary!]


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