Imagine enabling the blind to “read” ordinary printed materials,
along the way pioneering information technologies that profoundly
impact how the world processes information for decades to come.
is just the surface of the many amazing accomplishments of Raymond
Kurzweil, inventor of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, who was announced
today as an inductee into this year's class of inventors to be
honored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Kurzweil Reading Machine is the first computer to transform random
text into computer-spoken words, enabling blind and visually impaired
people to read any printed materials. When this first print-to-speech
reading machine was patented in 1976, Kurzweil’s technology was
widely regarded as the most significant advancement for the blind
since Braille’s introduction in 1829. It not only dramatically
impacted the lives of blind people (85 percent of blind college
students are estimated to have used one), it pioneered several
computer technologies which have become separate industries that
are still thriving today.
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