Intel Reader

Intel Reader, a new text-to-speech reader from Intel

Although an ebook reader provides a portable and convenient way to read books, most of those devices failed to address an important concern:  not everyone can read, either due to dyslexia, low vision, blindness, or simply illiteracy.

Intel addressed that problem with its recently-launched Intel Reader, a mobile handheld device that converts printed text into digital text then reads it aloud to the user.  About the size of a paperback book, it combines the power of a 5-megapixel text-scanning camera with an Intel Atom processor and a built-in optical character recognition. 

The Intel Reader has been endorsed by the International Dyslexia Association as an important assistive device for an estimated 55 million people in the United States who have specific learning disabilities.

However, with a suggested retail price of US$1499 (available at selected retailers), it seems pretty hefty even for a niche product, especially if it only has 2GB built-in storage, a 4-hour battery life, and lack of support for other digital text files like HTML, PDF, DOC, and RTF.

Image source:  Intel

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