Reading digital screens

iOS & iPadOS

Recently, I purchased a Yahama mx61 keyboard. There were many knobs, dials, and buttons, yet I knew very well that a menu-driven system would be at its core, and of course I was right. I've worked with these kinds of things before, and i knew that sheer, harsh menu memorizations were the key.
Then, the other day, a brilliant thought occurred to me. Hey, I thought, iPhone cameras are supposed to be really good now, and so are OCR apps. Yes, I'm running the 4s and don't have the snazzy new KNFB reader, but that will change someday soon. In the meantime, I cranked up Text Detective and Photo OCR on my 4s and gave it a try.
My conclusions are that since keyboard data are not standard English words, but are rather numbers and letters and abbreviations, these apps simply cannot cope with what is on the screen. Interestingly, however, is the consistency of the text displayed by Text Detective. I know it's not getting half of its info right, but it presents it so consistently time after time that I am made to think that an app such as KNFB reader could indeed breach this barrier, especially on newer phones with better cameras. What I think would be neede though is a specific setting in KNFB that tells it not to filter out anything that doesn't look like a language, so that letter-number combos are easily recognized--if it doesn't do something like this already. If it does, of course, then so much the better.
What are your thoughts about this, and have any of you tried using KNFB reader with a keyboard or other product with a digital screen? If KNFB really can deliver, this alone would make it well-worth the high price tag.



Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I think that KNFB reader however good it is, and it is really good, can't as it is now read digital screens in a meaningful way. Wait let me rephrase this, it sure can read displays, at least i think so, but using KNFB reader for this purpose isn't useful as it stands today. The reason for this is that it can't read digital screens in realtime, that is the KNFB reader doesn't have a video mode and so for every action you take as a result of a display readout you'll have to go back and snap another picture of the display and that would imho be more work than it may be worth. Another solution to this problem might be an app called "Talking goggles" which i have used to read various displays and screens and though it may not be perfect in every sense, at least it reads out so much info from the display that you could make menu choices. Goggles can't distinguish highlighted text from other text as far as i know, but it could be a solution at least a temporary one. For the best results with this app and displays, i recommend the "best" OCR reading setting, it's the slowest but i've actually managed to get texts read from the display of my grumpy microwave although it took some time to do.
Hope this helps.

Submitted by Ken Downey on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I really don't know why I never tried the talking Goggles app! This thing is absolutely amazing! It reads the keyboard screen a lot better than TextDetective or Photo OCR. This is wonderful! Definitely worth a dollar.

Submitted by Gadget Meistress on Friday, September 26, 2014

I wonder if anyone has tried using such appps as Talking Goggles for reading either a desk top or a laptop monitor, for situations in which screen readers just do not work at all, like if you're installing windows or something of that nature?

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Friday, September 26, 2014

What is this World lens? Does it have or capabilities as it stands now? I'll have to check this out too. Always good to have many tools in ones tool box.

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