[Athen] AiSquared ZoomReader for iPhone

Karlen Communications info at karlencommunications.com
Tue Apr 12 03:33:26 PDT 2011

I bought the app and it did well scanning and recognizing the text on the
back of an iTunes card so I could read the instructions. It did not do well
on scanning and recognizing the instructions on over the counter medicine
boxes although the instructions do say that you need to hold the camera
steady and of course since I was concentrating on holding the camera steady
it wobbled so I am going back from time to time to try it again but as of
now, four days later, no luck. The other issue might be that the text on the
packaging is often red on white or blue on white and is quite small.

They are right about glare and lighting and in a restaurant, despite being
under a light I couldn't get any information from the menu. To be fair,
again the menu had a plastic coating and in this case the fonts are not
plain although they were not script.

I think this is a good tool and this is the first iteration of it which I
accept. I'm trying it with anything I can think of to see what it likes and
what it doesn't. Am also experimenting to see how steady I can hold the
camera. I don't have a mobility disability or tremors so it is just a matter
of holding the camera steady at the right distance from the content. Like
any new tool, it takes some getting used to.

The text recognition on the iTunes card instructions came out quite well
with only a few OCR mistakes and again I found that steadiness and distance
from the text affected the OCR.

I like that I can change the contrast for reading and there is a setting to
automatically read the content once it is recognized but I like to choose
when to read the text so haven't used this setting yet.

So, for a first iteration of a tool it works well if you can hold the camera
steady at the right distance from the text. I wouldn't give it a negative
rating. Once more of us are using it, we can provide some feedback on
performance but I like the idea of not carrying around a separate device to
do this. It is just so easy to use on-board.

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Sean J Keegan
Sent: April-12-11 2:16 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network; Alternate Media
Subject: [Athen] AiSquared ZoomReader for iPhone

Hi all,

I was following up on recent app releases from CSUN and noticed that
AiSquared's ZoomReader app for the iPhone was finally approved. It appears
to require the iPhone 4 and iOS 4.2 or higher.


There are two one-star ratings, but it is apparent one person clearly did
not read the directions and tried installing the app on an iPhone 3GS and
another person was just negative (no real description as to any problems).

Such an app could be really useful on a form factor the size on an iPad.
Unfortunately, the iPad 2 camera is of much lower capability than the
iPhone 4, so until the iPad 2 camera gets a serious upgrade, it looks like
this will only be useful for the iPhone 4 device.

If anyone gets the chance to play with this, I would be interested to hear
your comments.

Take care,

Sean Keegan
Associate Director, Assistive Technology Office of Accessible Education -
Stanford University http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/oae

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