The first exciting new technology is the portable electronic magnifier, Transformer, also known as CCTV. Transformer connects to your computer through a USB port.
The software is not restricted to site licensing thus you can connect it anywhere, provided the computer is not security locked. Transformer weighs just under 3 pounds and folds up, it can be carried in a small over the shoulder bag. Below is a list of more benefits and features.

  1. This device is free standing, it does not need support from the weight of the laptop. This is a plus because it will allow its user to actually read a book and pan using a table or a portable x/y table (which is $200, I personally feel its over priced). You can re-orient it into a left, right or forward position. The stand has slim legs which may or may not impede your movements with a book that has a spine. All of the features are accessible through a keyboard, you don't have to take your hands off of it to change magnification levels.
  2. The camera can rotate 330° degrees for a near or distant view. Magnification can be set between 2.4x and 30x. With distance viewing, the user can capture an image and store it on their computer as a jpeg.
  3. Transformer uses split screen technology, you can view your desktop and the cameras view at the same time. The orientation of the split screen can be changed to its users preference.
  4. Transformer has a number of preloaded color modes, and it also has the ability to enable 28 different custom color settings.
  5. Finally my favorite feature, ROTATION! With previous CCTV models, images on the screen were dependent of the cameras position. This camera is truly functional in any position, all you have to do is press a button on the keyboard to re-orient the cameras view. So, no more upside down or mirror images from a distance.

I believe this awesome new device is worth the 1900$. More information is available by clicking the link above. You can check out how it works or purchase it from your local vendor. Keystone Magnification

Intel Reader


Next up is the Intel Reader, one of my favorites. Typically, this devices sells for $1499, it is currently on sale for $899 until the end of this year. There are other sources online selling it for as low as $723.28, you can compare prices using this link
Intel Reader does not come with an Intel Capture Stand Station which is handy if you plan on scanning lots of pages such as pages from a book. It folds up neat and compactly and it is around $400 dollars, (a little pricey for plastic in my opinion). You can learn more about it at this link

Intel Reader transforms printed text into spoken words. The sound and speech quality is excellent, it doesn't sound too robotic. Images are captured and transformed in about 10 seconds, they can also be stored. It weighs just over a pound and it is about the size of a paperback book. It comes with a durable carrying case and a shoulder strap which will allow you to capture the images and utilize the button without removing it from the case. It also plays MP3s, Daisy books and text transferred from a PC in several different formats.

Intel Reader is perfect for students who don't have the necessary computer skills to independently operate a computer with scan to read software.

Purchase this directly from the manufacture or from your local vendor Sage Vision Technologies or Supporting Visions: Service Beyond Technology Heidi Wert

PEARL Portable Reading Solution

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Pearl is a new lighting fast, portable OCR, also known as scanner. It interfaces with OpenBook® which is a scan to read software program. Take note, its user must be an independent computer user in order to use this type of system. OpenBook® converts printed documents and graphic-based text into an electronic text format on your PC. You can scan documents and then save them as audio. You could then take the audio file and put it on a iPod® or MP3 player and always have it with you. With Pearl you're not tied down to a PC.

So what else can pearl do?

  1. Pearl connects to your computer through a USB port. Pearl can scan a pages text in about 3 seconds. It can transfer the text to OpenBook® and then save, read or flip the output to a BRL (braille file) or an audio format. Pearl does not require a battery. It only weighs a pound and it comes with a zipper case and a shoulder strap. I have no idea why you would need a shoulder strap.
  2. Pearl has a motion detector, you can simply flip a page to begin scanning the next page. It has a smart artificial intelligence, it can scan the left page of a book and then the right. It can also allow OpenBook® to compile an entire book in its correct order via pagination.
  3. Enlarge or reformat text (change font styles, foreground and background colors).
  4. Wrap text to fill the screen and add comments or highlighting.
  5. It can be used like a CCTV to show a live video image on your PC, it can also navigate with the virtual X/Y table from the keyboard.
  6. It can be exported and then imported into applications like Microsoft Word or Notepad.

On Sale Now

PEARL (stand alone) Regular Price $1,195 Limited Introductory Price through March 31, 2011 - $600
PEARL with OpenBook® software(version 9) $2,190 Limited Introductory Price through March 31, 2011 - $1,595They are featuring an OpenBook® upgrade for version 9 regardless of what previous version you may own (even old Arkenstone) for around $120.