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New note-taking software helps blind see the board and type at same time.

Melbourne, July 13 (ANI): A team of scientists from Arizona State University has designed a portable device that increases the speed of note-taking.

The concept was born out of frustration by legally blind team leader David S Hayden, reports News.com.au.

Hayden had been using a technology called a monocular, which is basically a small telescope, for vision-impaired people.

"The problem with the monocular is that you have this great chalkboard and now that you need to see what's on this board you need to zoom in, so you zoom in and you have a limited field of view," Hayden said.

"You take some notes, you look up, you find your spot, you commit something to memory, you go down, you write some notes, go back up...

"You're cycling constantly between notes and board ... the low vision student can't keep up with his fully sighted peers," he added.

Hayden said the 'board, no board' delay saw him withdraw from several classes, and he felt it was unacceptable.

Note-Taker is mounted on a flat surface and plugs into a tablet PC.

The camera is controlled using software built by the team, which allows users to move to the part of the board they want to see by swiping their finger across the screen. They can zoom in by tapping on the screen.

To remove the "board, no board" delay, the Note-Taker puts the user's view of the board on the left hand side of the page, with a word processing software that supports handwritten and typed notes on the right.

This allows users to see the board and type at the same time without constantly having to refocus. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 14, 2011
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