The new automatic reading machine, developed by the cooperation between local company and TKU Center of Resources for the Blind (CRFB), has been available in the market since this September. Compared to the imported automatic reading machine that costs more than 100,000 NT Dollars, this new invention only charges 15,000 NT Dollars. CRFB presented this new product at the “Results Presentation of Information-for-Visually-Impaired Research,” held at Taipei campus on August 30. The Center also invited alumnus Dr. Chen Kuo-shih, the first blind person who got doctoral degree in Taiwan, to operate this machine.
This new automatic reading machine is supported by CRFB which offers techniques and manufactured by U-Tran Enterprise. With the multiple functions of scanner, Chinese Identification System, and G-bat, this facility can identify nearly 100% English words and more than 90% Chinese characters, which can help blind people “hearing” books freely and easily by only one touch.
TKU presented other recent research results in the convention. The Director of Office of Research and Development, Dr. Chen Kan-nan indicates that, under the support of Ministry of Education, the development of the related facilities of Chinese computer for blind people is getting matured. In addition, from this semester, CRFB will be merged with Office of Research and Development. It is a meaningful sign to show TKU’s determination to spare no efforts to develop computers for blind people.
At present stage, CRFB cooperates with government in establishing an accessible Web environment. Right now the blind people can certificate themselves as a natural person. The Center will develop the technique that keeps documents confidential, so that it will be safer for blind people to use e-mail or e-bank. (~ Amanda Yen )