FingerReader: the ring that scans words and reads them aloud for you

Scientists across the pond at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a prototype of a new wearable ring, but instead of keeping you safe or tracking your steps, it assists in reading out printed text.

Aiming to help the visually impaired, the so called FingerReader can be used with books, magazines, restaurant menus and even computer screens.

It works like this: users trace a line of text with their index finger while wearing the FingerReader, and a small camera (much like those found in a smartphone) scans the words. A synthesised voice provides a real-time audio translation of the scanned words. There are also motor vibrations to cue the start and end of the line, and for when there’s a new line.

It’s taken three years of software coding, experimentation and working with feedback groups to develop the FingerReader – but it could prove to be revolutionary for those hampered by blindness or other visual impairment. Nice work, MIT!

Sadie Hale