General care  

Smart phone for dyslexics reads aloud from text files and images of text

19 April 2007

Mons, Belgium. Acapela, a developer of speech solutions, and Motto – Captura, Danish specialists in the development of mobile solutions for people suffering from dyslexia, have launched CapturaTalk, a new device aimed at people with dyslexia and other forms of reading and writing difficulties.

The new software solution, integrated in the HTC TyTN Pocket PC Smartphone, reads aloud any text through voice synthesis. Texts can range from a picture image that the users have photographed themselves with the integrated camera, or a file that has been saved in the PDA’s memory.

Building on the company’s experience implementing text-to-speech solutions in various devices for disabled people, Acapela provided the voice synthesis for CapturaTalk. Acapela’s portfolio comprises 25 different languages with more than 50 individual voices.

The idea behind CapturaTalk originates from the EU-project MELFO (Mobile e@Learning for Dyslexics). Lars-Erik Larsson, Managing Director of Acapela Sweden AB, comments: “We are proud of our collaboration with Motto -Captura and that Acapela was chosen to voice-enable CapturaTalk, a tool that is applicable in many different contexts. There is a great level of interest in tools with integrated speech synthesis on a private as well as professional level, from schools and work places or indeed for personal use.”

More than 2% of the world’s population suffer from severe dyslexia, a handicap that has a strong impact on daily life. The idea behind this new tool is mainly to facilitate easy day-to-day activities for people with dyslexia, reading and writing difficulties and sight problems. You can, for example, photograph different types of written information, such as a sign or a train ticket, and have the texts read aloud through speech synthesis. CapturaTalk also saves any scanned files for possible future use.

John Kristensen, Chairman at Motto – Captura, who has developed CapturaTalk’s software, says: “The software has been developed to give everyone the same right to access written information and to enable dyslexic people with reading and writing difficulties to live more independently. But CapturaTalk can, of course, be used by anyone wishing to have any text read aloud! It is the user himself who decides how he wishes to use the device.”

Thanks to its smooth size and light weight (176 g), the device can be put into a pocket or handbag, and is easily accessible for quick use.

CapturaTalk is available with Danish and English voice synthesis but the company plans to increase the number of European languages available during the course of this year.

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