Zoom-Ex is a reading machine that integrates a digital scanner and OCR. With its real time scan-to-read facility it allows users to convert any printed text into multiple accessible formats such as speech, large print, sound or text files, within seconds. The foldable stand holds a digital scanning camera that is always at the exact distance needed to create a clear image. Low-vision users can touch and feel the L-shaped edges of the stand to know exactly where to place the document to be read. Zoom-Ex may be purchased for use with a PC or Mac computer.
This device combines four tools in one: the Instant Reader, Smart Magnifier, book scanner/reader and real-time CCTV. The Instant Reader uses incredibly fast optical character recognition for real-time page to speech text is read out by either male or female human sounding voices. Page orientation does not matter, it is possible to place printed text materials either upside down, portrait or landscape and the Instant Reader will automatically recognise which direction and orientation the text should be in. It is possible to alter the reading speed as well as read an entire page or quickly browse the document to find out what it is about; it can be read by word, sentence or paragraph words can even be spelt out! When reading items such as newspapers, Zoom-Ex recognises the columns and will read them in correct order one after another. Zoom-Ex will also describe the page layout to the user so they will understand how the page is laid out and will know exactly what a sighted person would see. There are nine foreign languages to choose from.
The Smart Magnifier feature of Zoom-Ex recognises text and images and presents them separately with their own separate adjustable magnification. There is no need for an X-Y table as the Smart Magnifier will magnifier text and then wrap the lines so that the user just needs to scroll the screen for ease of reading. Visual impaired users can choose from a range of different viewing modes and colour combinations to ensure a pleasant reading experience. It is possible to zoom into text by up to x40 magnification these magnified pages can be printed to create your own large print books.
It is possible to scan books and create a library of books that can be read at a later date. Zoom-Ex can scan up to 20 pages per minute and the auto focus camera ensures that a clear image is always captured. Books can be saved as audio files or burned to a CD and can be taken anywhere.
Real-Time CCTV feature means that manual work such as threading a needle or changing batteries in a hearing aid or remote control can be carried out. There is a big difference between magnification mode and real-time CCTV mode when a document is magnified, the camera has already scanned the document and so is switched off. But in real-time CCTV mode the camera is on all the time and so projects images in real-time.