Open Access

A Multifunctional Reading Assistant for the Visually Impaired

  • Céline Mancas-Thillou1Email author,
  • Silvio Ferreira1,
  • Jonathan Demeyer1,
  • Christophe Minetti2 and
  • Bernard Gosselin1
EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing20072007:064295

DOI: 10.1155/2007/64295

Received: 15 January 2007

Accepted: 3 September 2007

Published: 6 November 2007

Abstract

In the growing market of camera phones, new applications for the visually impaired are nowadays being developed thanks to the increasing capabilities of these equipments. The need to access to text is of primary importance for those people in a society driven by information. To meet this need, our project objective was to develop a multifunctional reading assistant for blind community. The main functionality is the recognition of text in mobile situations but the system can also deal with several specific recognition requests such as banknotes or objects through labels. In this paper, the major challenge is to fully meet user requirements taking into account their disability and some limitations of hardware such as poor resolution, blur, and uneven lighting. For these applications, it is necessary to take a satisfactory picture, which may be challenging for some users. Hence, this point has also been considered by proposing a training tutorial based on image processing methods as well. Developed in a user-centered design, text reading applications are described along with detailed results performed on databases mostly acquired by visually impaired users.

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Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Circuit Theory and Signal Processing Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering of Mons
(2)
Microgravity Research Center, The Free University of Brussels

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Copyright

© Céline Mancas-Thillou et al. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.