Israeli tech that helps the sight-impaired to read receives top innovation award

December 17, 2020 by TPS
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The Jerusalem-based OrCam Technologies, a leader in personal, Artificial Intelligence-driven innovations, has been named a CES 2021 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation Honoree, in the Accessibility category, for its small OrCam Read digital reader.

Photo: Courtesy

Wednesday’s announcement was made ahead of the first-ever, all-digital CES annual trade show, the world’s most influential technology event, taking place next month.

The CES Innovation Awards program, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in products across 28 categories.

A panel of industry expert judges, including members of the media, designers, and engineers, reviewed submissions based on innovation, engineering and functionality, aesthetic and design.

One of only 19 products selected as a Best of Innovation Award Honoree in the CES 2021, OrCam Read represents a new class of assistive reading technology to support people with reading challenges, such as dyslexia, mild to moderate vision loss, reading fatigue, as well as for those who read large volumes of text.

The first-of-its-kind handheld device reads full pages or screens of text aloud from any printed or digital surface, including product labels and smartphones.

An internet connection is not required, resulting in instant audio communication while ensuring data privacy.

OrCam Read’s proprietary AI algorithms enable intuitive point-and-click operation, activating two precision laser guidance options, to read the entire highlighted text or target where to begin reading.

OrCam Read’s text-to-speech reading engine also incorporates the new interactive “Smart Reading” feature, combining OrCam’s advanced computer vision and natural language understanding (NLU) to operate as a “voice-activated assistant.”

Activated by the user’s voice, the algorithms driving the Smart Reading feature listen to the user’s requests, retrieves the relevant information, and reads the requested text to the user within a few seconds.

Professor Amnon Shashua, Co-founder and Co-CEO of OrCam, said that the company’s various technologies and solutions represent the “continuation of our mission to enable greater independence in daily life for those with a variety of access challenges caused by language processing disorders, visual impairment and hearing loss,”

OrCam was also recognized at CES 2020, for the soon-to-be-launched OrCam Hear wearable device for hearing loss, which also received a Best of Innovation Award.

The company’s flagship OrCam MyEye wearable device for people who are blind or visually impaired won the prestigious Last Gadget Standing competition top prize at CES 2018.


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