Stevie Wonder presents knfbReaders to blind students

December 20, 2006

stevie_wonder_house_full_of_toysStevie Wonder presented two knfb readers to students at the Stevie Wonder 11th annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert in Los Angeles on Dec. 16.

The Readers, the first handheld devices capable of reading and converting printed text into spoken words, were donated by knfb (Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind).

One of the readers is going to two young hispanic women from the CA School for the Blind and the other to Junior Blind of America, according to Stevie Wonder, who himself uses the Reader in a variety of applications.

Developed by Ray Kurzweil and The National Federation of the Blind, the knfb Reader combines a state-of-the-art digital camera with a personal data assistant, putting the best available character recognition software together with text-to-speech conversion technology in a single, handheld device. Users merely hold “the camera that talks” over print–a letter, bills, a restaurant menu, an airline ticket, a business card, or an office memo–and in seconds, they hear the contents of the printed document played back in clear synthetic speech.