Sure, Intel is primarily a chip maker, but every once and a while they throw us a product curve ball. The Reader (yup, that’s what it’s called) is a handheld device that can literally read aloud the text of a physical book. It’s intended use is for the physically blind or those who are challenged by a learning disability, but it could also serve as an archiving system.
It works by using OCR, or optical character recognition, and captures the text through a small built-in 5 megapixel camera. I’m skeptical as to how much text it can read and convert in one given snap shot, but Intel says that “conversions [are] fast”.
Total on board storage of the device is 4GB (solid state) and a USB port helps to transfer any stored data to your personal computer. The battery should be good for about 4 hour of audio playback and the reader is also compatible with a variety of file formats (DAISY 2.02* (DAISY), NISO 2002* (z2002 or DAISY 3*), NISO 2005* (z2005 or DAISY 3), NIMAS 1.0/1.1*, MP3, WAV, ASCII text) and contains a 3.5mm headphone jack for greater privacy.
The Intel Reader is said to ship sometime in the next few weeks and cost about $1,500.
Video after the ‘leap’