GB2184588A - Portable reading system for the visually handicapped - Google Patents

Portable reading system for the visually handicapped Download PDF

Info

Publication number
GB2184588A
GB2184588A GB8628711A GB8628711A GB2184588A GB 2184588 A GB2184588 A GB 2184588A GB 8628711 A GB8628711 A GB 8628711A GB 8628711 A GB8628711 A GB 8628711A GB 2184588 A GB2184588 A GB 2184588A
Authority
GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
device
means
form
bar coded
preceding
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB8628711A
Other versions
GB8628711D0 (en )
Inventor
Michael Herbert Bail
Original Assignee
Michael Herbert Bail
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B21/00Teaching, or communicating with, the blind, deaf or mute
    • G09B21/001Teaching or communicating with blind persons
    • G09B21/006Teaching or communicating with blind persons using audible presentation of the information

Abstract

A reading system for the visually handicapped includes bar coded documents, a hand held device for scanning the bar codes, and means for converting the output of the device into synthesised speech. The bar codes are arranged in linear arrays (figure 3-not shown) to facilitate scanning. Guiding devices to help the scanning device move over the arrays may be provided, as may tactile indications of the positions of the arrays. <IMAGE>

Description

SPECIFICATION A portable reading system for the visually handicapped This invention relates to a portable device to generate synthetic speech from information printed in barcodeform andtothe documents read bythis device. The purpose ofthe invention is to provide a compact, portable and simple reading system forthe visually handicapped.

The associated computer system required to producethe bar coded documents used by the system is also described briefly.

Systems currently available which provide visually handicapped people a means of reading include: 1. TACTILE SYSTEMS such as Braille, which can be difficult to learn, use relatively bulky and fragile documents and require special means of document printing.

2. AUDIO TAPES, which aretime consuming to record, use expensive media and reproduction equip ment and are not very convenient for direct access to information or'browsing'.

3. SPEECH FROM TEXT production systems, which require considerable accuracy in scanning the source text, achieved either by using expensive automatictextscanning equipmentor by providing tactile feedback which enables a hand held scannerto be located on lines oftext accurately.

This system provides an alternative means of generating synthetic speech from printed information which hasthefollowing advantages: 1. Reduction ofthe scanning accuracy required from the user by comparison with text scanning systems, because barcodes are a one dimensional method of data representation.

2. Portability, since the reader is self contained and battery powered and similar in size to a personal stereo tape player.

3. Relative ease of learning and convenience in operation.

4. Production of document originals and copies by conventional printing and photocopying techniques.

5. The ability to provide audiblefeedbackinformation if necessary to assist scanning of documents either by immediate output of each word scanned or by output of an audiblesignaltoindicatethat information exists in the area being scanned, without the need for an additional tactile feedback mechanism or mechanized scanning.

The complete system for document production and reading comprises: 1. The portable device which generates synthetic speech from documents containing information held in bar coded form and which is provided to each user of the system.

2. A document production system which creates the required documents from text information held in computer readable form.

3. Bar coded documents, which are made available to users by any means whereby normal printed information is made available to sighted readers.

4. Scanner guidance devices to assist use of the system by visually handicapped users.

Descriptions of these four elements follow.

THE READING DEVICE, provided to individual visually handicapped users ofthe system, is illustrated in Diagram 1 (General Appearance) and Diagram 2 (Block Diagram) and incorporates: 1. A bar code scanner.

2. Firmware to decode output from the bar code scanner into speech. This decoder includes a common word/phrase translation facility for decoding of information held in bar codes in compresssed encoded form and has the ability to distinguish between bar codes in this form and directly encoded text or phonetic information and to decode each correctly.

3. Aspeech generation system to process the information generated by the decoder using a simple allophone based speech chip.

4. An audio output stage to provide speech via a loudspeaker and/or headphones.

5. An internal rechargeable power source and provision for connection to an external power supply.

6. Controls and adjustmentsto allow setting ofthe speed, volume, content and inflection ofthe speech output within the capabilities ofthe device as each user may require. These controls are designed for use by blind operators, providing tactile and/or audio indications of settings as appropriate. Speech content optionsincludetheabilitytooutputorignorepunctuation and special symbols such as mathematical formulae where these are present in the document being scanned.

THE BAR CODED DOCUMENTS contain the input information forthe reader device. The special features ofthese documents are shown in general terms in Diagram 3 and are as follows:- 1. Barcodes are not printed in conventional separate strips but touching the codes on adjacent Iines.Thisensuresthatan audible output is obtained from a scan at any point on the document provided only that the direction of scan is correct in relation to the alignment ofthe barcodes.

2. The depth of each bar code (D) is sufficient to al low many users to scan a bar code without exceeding the top and bottom edges ofthe barcode given a tactile means of locating the start ofthe bar code and identifying the required direction of scan.

Where this cannot be achieved a guide device is used and the depth of bar codes is standardized to conform with the characteristics of such guide devices.

3. Synchronization markers (C) are included in the bar codes so that scans which do not start at the beginning of a bar code can be correctly decoded.

These are depicted as wide gaps in Diagram 3 but may also take other forms such as a selected bar code character. These markers serve both to overcome scanning inaccuracies and to allow casual browsing of documents or inspection of information in list form.

4. Common words and phrases which are known to exist in the reader device translation table are bar coded as a short code. This allows a greater packing density of information in documents. Information which is not held in the translation table is encoded either as text or phoneme strings and control characters within the bar codes identify the mode of encoding.

5. Centrally produced documents such as maga zines newspapers or books are printed in a standard format, with area (A) provided for document title and reference, page number etc. and area (B) containing the documenttext. These different areas are always located in the same position on the document so that the blind user can, with practice, quickly identify a documentfrom the coded reference information provided as well as from the actual text contained in it.

Title page, index and contents pages are included in a standard layoutfor multi-page document sets. These layout conventions can be ignored for informal use of the system such as letter writing and low volume information for restricted groups of users, provided the basic bar code and document dimensions and correct bar coding standard are observed.

Diagram 3 shows the general format and essential features of bar coded documents. It does not show the actual bar code data encoding system to be used in a working device or define the precise measurement of any feature shown.

The synch ronization markers (C) illustrated as blank areas in bar codes may instead be a specific bar code character sequence in a working version of the document.

The unit depth of bar codes (D) is standard for all documents and matches the characteristics of each scanner guide device used, Deeper bars (e.g. area A) occupy a multipleofthis unit depth.

GUIDANCE DEVICES allowthe user to locate the start position of each bar code on a document and if necessary assistwith the registration ofthe scanner while a scan is performed.

The start position of each bar code is indicated in the case of bound document sets by perforating and binding documents with a suitable binder such that each row of bar codes is aligned with one spine of the binder. The binder then acts as the guide to the start of each bar code and hasthe advantage that as each page is turned the guide is immediately available. The guidance provided by this method is available for both sides of each document where duplex printing is used.

For unbound documents a document holder is used in which the place ofthe binder is taken bye strip adjacenttothemargin used for binding and containing tactile marks which indicate the start position of each row of bar codes.

For users who experience difficulty in following each bar code row accurately, assistance is provided by: 1. A document holder as described above which also contains grooves aligned with each row of bar codes into which the scannertip registers through the document so that a correct path can be followed easily.

2. A document holder which incorporates a cursor bar which can be moved in graduated steps which coincide with the depth of each bar code so th at the scanner can be moved in contact with the cursor.

3. Atemplatewhich overlays the document and incorporates slots which align with each code through which the scannertip can be inserted.

Other guidance devices may be developed in the light of user experience. The device used by any individual is a matter of individual capability and preference.

THE DOCUMENT PRODUCTION SYSTEM is largely outside the scope of this specification but is described briefly because it is an essential part ofthe complete reading system.

Document preparation is performed by software run on a suitable computer system which incorporates a synthetic speech output equivalent to that used in the reading device previously described and a printing device capable of generating master copies of documents as previously described. This system will includethe rules of text compression for common words and phrases which are held in the reading device translation table, document formatting and index, title and contents page generation where required. Where possible this software will be provided in a form suitable for use by any organization or individual requiring to produce information inthe form previously described.

The system will be able to accept information for compilation into bar coded documents either by direct keyboard input or from an existing computer readable format.

Claims (9)

1. Areading device for the visually handicapped in which information in barcodedform is read bya hand held scanner and converted into synthetic speech.
2. A device as claimed in Claim 1 incorporating an internal rechargeable power source and means of connection to an external charger in orderto makethe device fully portable.
3. A device as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2 incorporating controls suitablefor use by a visually handicapped user which allow adjustment of attributes ofthe synthetic speech output as required by the user.
4. A device as claimed in any preceding claim in which is incorporated a means of translating information held in barcodes in compressed form into expanded words and phrases via an internal translation table and a means of recognizing sections of a bar coded documentwhich are encoded in this form.
5. Adeviceasclaimed in any preceding claim in which is incorporated a means of generating speech output from text encoded character by character into bar coded form and a means of recognizing sections of a bar coded document which are encoded in this form.
6. A device as claimed in any preceding claim in which is incorprated a means of generating speech outputfrom phonetic information encoded directly into bar coded form and a means of recognizing sections of a bar coded document which are encoded in this form.
7. A device as claimed in any preceding claim generally as shown in diagram 1.
8. A device as claimed in any preceding claim incorprating logic structure generaliy as shown in diagram 2.
9. A bar coded documentformat generally as shown in diagram 3.
GB8628711A 1985-12-03 1986-12-02 Portable reading system for the visually handicapped Withdrawn GB2184588A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB8529703A GB8529703D0 (en) 1985-12-03 1985-12-03 Speech reading aid system

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB8628711D0 true GB8628711D0 (en) 1987-01-07
GB2184588A true true GB2184588A (en) 1987-06-24

Family

ID=10589146

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB8529703A Pending GB8529703D0 (en) 1985-12-03 1985-12-03 Speech reading aid system
GB8628711A Withdrawn GB2184588A (en) 1985-12-03 1986-12-02 Portable reading system for the visually handicapped

Family Applications Before (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB8529703A Pending GB8529703D0 (en) 1985-12-03 1985-12-03 Speech reading aid system

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (2) GB8529703D0 (en)

Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2207027A (en) * 1987-07-15 1989-01-18 Matsushita Electric Works Ltd Voice encoding and composing system
GB2273387A (en) * 1992-12-04 1994-06-15 Knudsen Computer Products Limi Reading system for the visually handicapped.
GB2283850A (en) * 1993-11-10 1995-05-17 William Alexander Courtney Method and apparatus for coding and decoding information
DE19529597A1 (en) * 1995-08-11 1997-02-13 Franz Rabenstein Interactively controlled random access to audio information sequences - defines predetermined addresses in random access memory by code in code fields
GB2315357A (en) * 1996-07-16 1998-01-28 Philip Frank French Items labelled with barcodes
ES2112769A1 (en) * 1995-09-29 1998-04-01 Rey Antonio Parreno System of reading two-dimensional bar codes with speech output.
FR2811106A1 (en) * 2000-04-05 2002-01-04 Christian Leroy Device for blind or partially blind people for helping them reading text or bar codes using speech synthesizer has microprocessor that converts text to speech using acoustic synthesizer connected to earphone via cable IR communication
FR2817147A1 (en) * 2000-11-28 2002-05-31 Mickael Denis portable speech device multi-function
US7267281B2 (en) * 2004-11-23 2007-09-11 Hopkins Billy D Location, orientation, product and color identification system for the blind or visually impaired
US7341456B2 (en) * 2004-03-25 2008-03-11 Mcadams John B Braille type device, system, and method
WO2008046944A1 (en) * 2006-10-19 2008-04-24 Juan Carlos Campoy Carmona Device for reading and recording sound messages for barcode translators to be used by the visually impaired for the purpose of identifying products by sound

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0042155A1 (en) * 1980-06-12 1981-12-23 Texas Instruments Incorporated Manually controllable data reading apparatus for speech synthesizers
EP0059318A1 (en) * 1981-03-03 1982-09-08 Texas Instruments Incorporated Bar code reader to speech synthesizer system
GB2108747A (en) * 1981-10-26 1983-05-18 Western Publishing Co Inc Voice synthesis reading system
US4549867A (en) * 1982-05-25 1985-10-29 Texas Instruments Incorporated Electronic learning aid with random number modes

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0042155A1 (en) * 1980-06-12 1981-12-23 Texas Instruments Incorporated Manually controllable data reading apparatus for speech synthesizers
EP0059318A1 (en) * 1981-03-03 1982-09-08 Texas Instruments Incorporated Bar code reader to speech synthesizer system
GB2108747A (en) * 1981-10-26 1983-05-18 Western Publishing Co Inc Voice synthesis reading system
US4549867A (en) * 1982-05-25 1985-10-29 Texas Instruments Incorporated Electronic learning aid with random number modes

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
WO 83/02188 *

Cited By (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2207027A (en) * 1987-07-15 1989-01-18 Matsushita Electric Works Ltd Voice encoding and composing system
GB2207027B (en) * 1987-07-15 1992-01-08 Matsushita Electric Works Ltd Voice encoding and composing system
GB2273387A (en) * 1992-12-04 1994-06-15 Knudsen Computer Products Limi Reading system for the visually handicapped.
GB2283850A (en) * 1993-11-10 1995-05-17 William Alexander Courtney Method and apparatus for coding and decoding information
GB2283850B (en) * 1993-11-10 1997-10-29 William Alexander Courtney Method and apparatus for coding and decoding information
DE19529597A1 (en) * 1995-08-11 1997-02-13 Franz Rabenstein Interactively controlled random access to audio information sequences - defines predetermined addresses in random access memory by code in code fields
ES2112769A1 (en) * 1995-09-29 1998-04-01 Rey Antonio Parreno System of reading two-dimensional bar codes with speech output.
GB2315357A (en) * 1996-07-16 1998-01-28 Philip Frank French Items labelled with barcodes
FR2811106A1 (en) * 2000-04-05 2002-01-04 Christian Leroy Device for blind or partially blind people for helping them reading text or bar codes using speech synthesizer has microprocessor that converts text to speech using acoustic synthesizer connected to earphone via cable IR communication
FR2817147A1 (en) * 2000-11-28 2002-05-31 Mickael Denis portable speech device multi-function
WO2002045052A1 (en) * 2000-11-28 2002-06-06 Emes Sas Multipurpose portable phonic device
US7341456B2 (en) * 2004-03-25 2008-03-11 Mcadams John B Braille type device, system, and method
US7267281B2 (en) * 2004-11-23 2007-09-11 Hopkins Billy D Location, orientation, product and color identification system for the blind or visually impaired
WO2008046944A1 (en) * 2006-10-19 2008-04-24 Juan Carlos Campoy Carmona Device for reading and recording sound messages for barcode translators to be used by the visually impaired for the purpose of identifying products by sound
ES2298064A1 (en) * 2006-10-19 2008-05-01 Carmona Juan Carlos Campoy reader and recorder for sound messages translators barcodes to be used by visually impaired sound for product identification.

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB8529703D0 (en) 1986-01-08 application
GB8628711D0 (en) 1987-01-07 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
Davidson Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and the Material Word
Tomlinson Developing materials for language teaching
Henry Unlocking literacy: Effective decoding & spelling instruction
Marshall Annotation: from paper books to the digital library
US5813861A (en) Talking phonics interactive learning device
US5787449A (en) Method and system for manipulating the architecture and the content of a document separately from each other
US3676856A (en) Automatic editing system and method
US4425099A (en) Educational aid for use with workbook
Davis Facilitating effects of marginal glosses on foreign language reading
US6616038B1 (en) Selective text retrieval system
US6915103B2 (en) System for enhancing books with special paper
US5057020A (en) Reading enabler
US5920877A (en) Text acquisition and organizing system
US4858170A (en) Shorthand notation and transcribing method
US4734036A (en) Method and device for learning a language
Constable Guest people: Hakka identity in China and abroad
Chen et al. Language processing in Chinese
US6035308A (en) System and method of managing document data with linking data recorded on paper media
US5575659A (en) Document interpreting systems
GB2082820A (en) Devices, Systems and Methods for Converting Speech into Corresponding Written Form
US20040138872A1 (en) In-context analysis and automatic translation
US7341456B2 (en) Braille type device, system, and method
US6990293B2 (en) Picture changer with recording and playback capability
Reppen Building a corpus: what are the key considerations?
US4644492A (en) Plural mode language translator having formatting circuitry for arranging translated words in different orders

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)