MIT's FingerReader device helps people with vision impairment read with the swipe of a finger

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an affordable finger reader for people whose vision is impaired.

The prototype FingerReader fits like a ring on a user's index finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. Special software processes scanned words and a synthesized voice immediately reads the text aloud.

Reading is as easy as pointing a finger at the text. The device also has vibration motors and other cues to help users read in a straight line.

MIT Media Lab researchers say the device can read books, restaurant menus, business cards and other texts.

Jerry Berrier, who is blind, has tested the FingerReader. He says it will help people with visual impairment get immediate access to texts and live fuller, richer, more productive lives.