I have this software installed on both of my Windows computers, and can
bring it to the R&D meeting on my LapTalk. The software definitely has its
uses in several fields.
>Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 08:51:30 -0500
>From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@COMCAST.NET>
>Organization: Hands-On Technolog(eye)s
>Subject: exciting news:Fw: [The vOICe] Version 1.55 of The vOICe
>This is truly innovative technology and the latest version's new
>features make it even more stunning and best of all, it is free.
>Depending on your purpose, you can use a flat bed scanner that is twain
>compliant, a web cam or any cam you can use on your computer or no
>device but images from your pc that are imported via the web or other
>means that are in many formats can be examined. One of the things that
>is being concentrated on with this technology is use as an aid to
>orientation. Note, I did not say mobility but orientation because,
>using this software which is free with a notebook pc, a microphone if
>desired and it should be desired for this setup, headphones hopefully of
>the kind that allow you to continue to hear what is going on around you,
>and a pc camera, you can litterally find out about what is around you
>(in the camera's view) once you learn how to imterprit the audio output
>of the vOICe software.
>I encourage all of you to step into this world of audio vision listening
>to the world around you with new eyes or your pc or your clothing or a
>sign or printed sheet of paper perhaps. It might even be possible to
>read hand written documents with this software if not now, at some point
>in the future. Please download, install, examine end experiment with
>this software, join the list and examine the extensive documentation on
>the web pages to find your best fit and join us in a technological
>If you are already on the list and working with the software, you know
>of its power and potential. Please encourage all who might benefit and
>who can take advantage of it to become envolved in this process. You do
>need a windows pc which I know may hamper some of you and you can use a
>screen reader but it is not absolutely necessary to have one.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Peter Meijer" <Peter.B.L.Meijer@philips.com>
>Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 2:32 AM
>Subject: [The vOICe] Version 1.55 of The vOICe available
>Version 1.55 of The vOICe Learning Edition is now available.
>It can be downloaded from one of the following three direct
>download URLs (executable file size is less than 500 K):
>So what is new?
>Any known bugs were fixed. Some improvements were
>made in detecting the connection and disconnection
>of USB video capture devices, preventing most of
>the "false alarms" that used to trigger version 1.54
>into reconnecting to your video capture device even
>if it was never disconnected.
>A more sophisticated contrast enhancement has been
>implemented, giving you a more detailed view within
>dark areas as well as with any smooth low-contrast
>textures. I had to strike a balance with visual
>clutter though, because any enhanced visual item
>inevitably also draws attention away from other,
>potentially more important, visual items. Also, if
>your camera is of poor quality by showing a lot of
>visual noise (random pixel brightness variations),
>the new image enhancement will make little difference
>because The vOICe tries to avoid boosting visual noise.
>An experimental "binaural motion" feature has been
>implemented, which could bring some of the advantages
>of binocular vision, while using only a single camera
>such as a regular webcam. It is in the menu Options |
>3D | Binaural Motion. It can also help in detecting
>motion. With the "binaural motion" turned on, slightly
>different views are sent to your two ears while moving
>around, much like the sighted get slightly different
>views in their two eyes. Theoretically it should be an
>improvement, but perceptually it may initially appear
>very confusing - so it is up to you to decide whether
>or not to use this new feature. It is very difficult
>to predict what the human brain can learn to handle.
>Experimental support has been added for OCR directly
>from a TWAIN device, allowing you to apply OCR from a
>digital still image camera, or a flatbed scanner, and
>using the high resolution snapshot rather than the low
>resolution webcam view. Keyboard shortcut: Control Alt R
>(instead of the keyboard shortcut Control R that you
>would apply for OCR from a webcam view). The vOICe will
>also apply the spoken "recognize" command for OCR from
>a TWAIN device if no video capture device is connected.
>Otherwise it will just get the input for OCR from your
>video capture device. So the same spoken command has
>different effects depending on whether or not a video
>capture device is connected. One current limitation is
>that you cannot interrupt the results spoken after OCR.
>Work on that may follow later, depending on usage. The
>default options for the GOCR OCR engine have also been
>adapted, resulting in much better recognition accuracy.
>The "djpeg" command in the "recognize.bat" batch file
>now by default gets the options -greyscale -dither none.
>You will have to delete the "recognize.bat" file if you
>already had one, because The vOICe will not overwrite
>it if it exists. This is because users may apply other
>recognition engines via an adapted "recognize.bat" batch
>file, to recognize faces or whatever third-party suppliers
>may come up with.
>A change detection option has been added to the menu
>Options | 3D | Change Detection (Control Alt F1). It
>will show only any changes from one view to the next.
>Special thanks to Pat for some highly valuable beta
>testing, and thanks to Pranav for a last-minute useful
>Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
Braille is the solution to the digital divide.
Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Staff Engineer
National Library Service f/t Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress (202) 707-0535 <email@example.com>
HOME: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://lras.home.sprynet.com>
The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent
those of NLS.
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