Issue No.02 - February (1979 vol.12)
D.A. Michalopoulos , California State University
The Kurzweil Reading Machine converts print to speech, and is designed as a reading tool for the blind and visually handicapped. The system handles ordinary printed material?books, letters, reports, memoranda, etc.?in most common styles and sizes of type. The output produced is a synthetic voice using full-word English speech. The reader operates the device by placing printed material face down on the glass plate forming the top surface of the scanning unit; he then presses the "page" button on the contol panel, and listens to the synthetic speech produced as an electronic camera scans the page and transmits its image to a minicomputer housed within the device. The computer separates the image into discrete character forms, recognizes the letters, groups the letters into words, computes the pronunciation of each word, and then produces the speech sounds associated with each phoneme. The machine operates at normal speech rates, about 150 words per minute.
D.A. Michalopoulos, "New Applications & Recent Research", Computer, vol.12, no. 2, pp. 97-98, February 1979, doi:10.1109/MC.1979.1658630