FingerReader: A 3D-Printed Device That Reads Text Aloud to the Blind

There are still a number of readers out there in the modern day. The blind have to resort to various other ways to accomplish this task, unfortunately. Louise Braille helped their cause by inventing tactile alphabet in 1824 which allowed the blind to read but the particular braille variants of reading material needed are rather scarce. MIT scientists have finally discovered a way to allow the visually impaired to read without having to use braille. What do we have to thank for? 3D printing technology ofcourse! Say hello to FingerReader which is able to scan and read text aloud.


FingerReader is tiny, ring-shaped device that hosts a little camera within to scan and read text in real time as the wearer moves the finger across different words. It is designed to read multiple words as users browse through written phrases. It is able to read any text greater than 12 point font. That makes this a handy device to carry when looking at business cards or menu in a restaurant. Vibration based feedback in the device ensures that the user orderly follows words in the right line while reading.

FingerReader device

Developers suggest that it is not only a means of assistance for the visually impaired but an equally effective method to translate language. Arguably, it is by far the best and most flexible solution available to date. Optical Character Recognition gadgets such as Say Text and Text Detective are already available but just not as adaptive or mobile. It must be noted, though, that FingerReader is only just a prototype as of now. It has already been in design and development phase for three years but some more time is necessary to produce a variant that is affordable for the masses. Investor support is quite necessary in that case.

FingerReader device

The device still requires a lot of effort before this can attract the attention of investors. Still, there is no denying this is a fantastic piece of technology which will prove extremely useful in the long run. Here’s to technology.