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First Cell Phone that Reads to the Blind and Dyslexic Released

NFB Reading Technology, a company combining the research and development efforts of the National Federation of the Blind, and Kurzweil Technologies unveil a new product line that will revolutionize access to print for anyone who has difficulty seeing or reading print, including the blind and learning disabled. The company's reading software has been especially designed for and paired with the Nokia N82 mobile phone to create the smallest text-to-speech reading device in history.

This truly pocket-size Reader enables users to take pictures of and read most printed materials at the push of a button. Blind users hear the contents of the document read in clear synthetic speech, while users who can see the screen and those with learning disabilities can enlarge, read, track, and highlight printed materials using the phone's large and easy-to-read display. The combination of text-to-speech and tracking features makes interpreting text much easier for individuals with learning disabilities.

Using the state-of-the-art Nokia N82 cell phone running on the Symbian operating system with its integrated high-resolution camera, the Reader puts the best available character-recognition software together with text-to-speech conversion technology all in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. The product includes Kurzweil's intelligent image processing software to enhance real-world images captured by a handheld device.

Blind users will have access to all of the functions featured in the most advanced cell phones on the market including video and music playback, GPS, wireless communications, photography, e-mail, text messaging, calendar and task functions, and more. The combination Reader and cell phone weighs 4.2 ounces and can store thousands of printed pages with easily obtainable extra memory. Users can transfer files to computers or Braille notetakers in seconds.



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