Monday, April 13, 2009

Nokia Launches N82 Smartphone For Visually Impaired

Monday, April 13, 2009 |

By Dee Chisamera

Nokia  N82 is the first smartphone designed for the blind or disabled persons with an incorporated text recognition technology, which enables text to be
converted into speech. The gadget is the result of a partnership between the National Federation of the Blind and Kurzweil Technologies and Nokia, whose
product was based on the K-NFB Reading Technology.

The phone will not only have the functions of a regular cell phone, but it will also use the same principle as the KNFB reader device, which means the Nokia
N82 can also be used to scan various documents. The device aims not only at blind persons, but also at people who need assistance in reading and children
with learning disabilities, especially dyslexics.

The purpose of developing such a device is to incorporate all the functions other products available on the market today have, in a compact, simple and
productive way. And the best thing about it is that the visually impaired or people with learning disabilities will no longer need to carry a bunch of
devices with them, instead, the Nokia N82 will perfectly fit in their pocket.

Ray Kurzwell first developed the technology that converted text into speech in the 1970s, and over the next 30 years it became clear that people needed
such products. The 10 million visually impaired in the United States are said to triple their number in the next 30 years, and the devices need to be constantly
updated to meet the needs of the consumers.

Nokia N82 is just the first step in an attempt to create more compact and useful gadgets to assist blind persons. "The KNFB Reader Mobile will allow the
blind unprecedented access to the printed word, affording a level of flexibility and capability never before available," Dr. Marc Maurer, President of
the National Federation of the Blind, said in a statement. "This Reader will substantially improve the quality of life for the growing number of blind
people and people who are losing vision, including senior."

The phone will cost approximately $500 dollars, but the text-recognizing technology itself will cost around $1,500, but all in all, less than any previous
reading device on the market. Taking that into consideration, the sales are likely to be a success and top the sales of other reading devices for blinds.

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