AI device for people with vision impairments named CES 2021 Innovation Awards Honouree
Assistive technology specialist OrCam Technologies has been named a CES® 2021 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation Honouree, in the Accessibility category, for its AI-driven, handheld OrCam Read digital reader.
Taking place annually, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest global stages for companies to showcase their latest and greatest technology innovations. The show covers a wide variety of sectors including automotive, robotics, gaming, wearables, sports technology and accessibility.
CES 2021 marks the first digital event for the influential technology show, which will be taking place January 11-14, 2021.
The CES Innovation Awards program, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, is an annual competition celebrating outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products across 28 product 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 19 products selected as a Best of Innovation Award honouree in the CES 2021 “first reveal” – the second and final “embargo reveal” award announcement takes place on January 11 – OrCam Read represents a new class of assistive reading technology to support people with reading challenges. The artificial intelligence (AI) device can assist people with dyslexia and reading fatigue, as well as for those who read large volumes of text.
Furthermore, the first-of-its-kind handheld device reads full pages or screens of text aloud from any printed or digital surface, including newspapers, books, product labels as well as computers and smartphones – entirely offline, without requiring an internet connection, resulting in instant audio communication while ensuring data privacy.
OrCam Read’s 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 patented text-to-speech reading engine also incorporates the new interactive “Smart Reading” feature, combining OrCam’s advanced computer vision and natural language understanding (NLU) technologies to operate as a “voice-activated assistant” that makes text more accessible to the reader.
Activated by the user’s voice, the algorithms driving the Smart Reading feature listen to – and comprehend – the user’s requests, retrieving the relevant information and reading the requested text to the user within a few seconds.
Professor Amnon Shashua, Co-founder and Co-CEO of OrCam, commented: “OrCam has invested over a decade of R&D efforts in pioneering the most advanced and versatile text-to-speech engine for an assistive technology platform. This breakthrough innovation leverages our AI computer vision and machine learning technology, which initially debuted in the globally award-winning, wearable OrCam MyEye device for people who are blind or visually impaired.
“As we develop our portfolio of personal AI solutions, OrCam Read – including our new, interactive Smart Reading feature – represents 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. We believe in ‘AI as a companion’ that empowers our users to more effectively access the world around them and improve their quality of life.”
OrCam was also recognised at CES 2020 for its OrCam Hear wearable device for hearing loss, which also captured a Best of Innovation Award.
In November 2020, OrCam Technologies announced a new partnership with hearing specialist Starkey, which saw the companies integrate their innovative assistive technologies to help those with both hearing and vision loss.
The result is a single solution that pairs Livio Edge AI hearing aids to wearable OrCam MyEye devices via a wireless connection, providing both hearing enhancement and audio communication of the visual world to a user at the same time.