Design of an automated book reader as an assistive technology tool for blind persons

Lu Wang, Florida International University

Abstract

This dissertation introduces a novel automated book reader as an assistive technology tool for persons with blindness. The literature shows extensive work in the area of optical character recognition, but the current methodologies available for the automated reading of books or bound volumes remain inadequate and are severely constrained during document scanning or image acquisition processes. The goal of the book reader design is to automate and simplify the task of reading a book while providing a user-friendly environment with a realistic but affordable system design. This design responds to the main concerns of (a) providing a method of image acquisition that maintains the integrity of the source (b) overcoming optical character recognition errors created by inherent imaging issues such as curvature effects and barrel distortion, and (c) determining a suitable method for accurate recognition of characters that yields an interface with the ability to read from any open book with a high reading accuracy nearing 98%. This research endeavor focuses in its initial aim on the development of an assistive technology tool to help persons with blindness in the reading of books and other bound volumes. But its secondary and broader aim is to also find in this design the perfect platform for the digitization process of bound documentation in line with the mission of the Open Content Alliance (OCA), a nonprofit Alliance at making reading materials available in digital form. The theoretical perspective of this research relates to the mathematical developments that are made in order to resolve both the inherent distortions due to the properties of the camera lens and the anticipated distortions of the changing page curvature as one leafs through the book. This is evidenced by the significant increase of the recognition rate of characters and a high accuracy read-out through text to speech processing. This reasonably priced interface with its high performance results and its compatibility to any computer or laptop through universal serial bus connectors extends greatly the prospects for universal accessibility to documentation. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Biomedical|Engineering, Electronics and Electrical

Recommended Citation

Lu Wang, "Design of an automated book reader as an assistive technology tool for blind persons" (January 1, 2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3388205.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3388205

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