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Students Develop Software for Visually Impaired

A team of MSU engineering students has developed an app that can help the visually impaired. Members of the team are (front, from left) Jordyn Castor of Grand Rapids; Whitney Mitchell of Alto; and Debayan Deb of Kanpur, India. Standing (left to right) are Cody Pearson of Hudsonville and Max Miller of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of the MSU College of Engineering.

A team of Michigan State University engineering students has developed an app that will benefit the visually impaired.

It’s called Intelligent Real World Text Recognition and is one of hundreds of undergraduate student projects that will be on display at the College of Engineering Design Day (Dec. 11, from 8 a.m. to noon in the Engineering Building).

Developed for use on Windows 10 devices, the app will take a picture, recognize what it is, and then perform a task – such reading it out loud, which is particularly helpful for the visually impaired or someone learning to read. It is also helpful for anyone needing to collect and store units of information.

The app scans the environment and captures text it can recognize. For instance, if the text is a phone number, one click and the app will call the number, or begin to compose an email, or search for a Twitter hashtag.

“It has good accessibility for those who can’t see or those with a print disability,” said team member Jordyn Castor, who has been blind since birth. “There is good keyboard navigation, too. I use a keyboard rather than a mouse and it works very well.”

The team originally got the idea from its corporate sponsor TechSmith, an Okemos, Michigan, company that is a leading developer of screen capture, video capture and editing software.

Other team members are Max Miller of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Debayan Deb of Kanpur, India; Whitney Mitchell of Alto; and Cody Pearson of Hudsonville.

– Tom Oswald, Patricia Mroczek via MSU Today

– Photo: Members of the team are (front, from left) Jordyn Castor of Grand Rapids; Whitney Mitchell of Alto; and Debayan Deb of Kanpur, India. Standing (left to right) are Cody Pearson of Hudsonville and Max Miller of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of the MSU College of Engineering.

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