Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Barcode Reader for the blind

Identify objects easily
  (+13, -4)(+13, -4)
(+13, -4)
  [vote for,

Although I am not blind, I understand how hard it must be to identify what things are, what color they are, etc. I propose a system combining a portable barcode reader with a voice recorder. The person would stick little unique barcode stickers on objects. (It would come with 50, then you can buy more) Then, they would take the device, scan the barcode, and record a little description, like "Remote control for the television." Then, now that the object has been registered into the device, the user can just scan the item and hear what it is.

Other uses/features:
- Voice memo recorder
- Stick barcodes in calendars and record dates and descriptions in device
-----, Apr 16 2005

These Braille Gloves would be useful http://blog.makezin.../braille_glove.html
MAKE: just need a barcode reader in the palm [Dub, Mar 16 2008]

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       If you're used to using your hands as a prime sensory source a remote control would be pretty easy to identify. Could this just be done in Braille? On a lighter note how would you identify the barcode reader, or would you have a smaller one to read the main ones barcode and so on... More useful would be an infra-red torch which read out the identity of what you were pointing it at, like personal radar. I suppose bats do fairly well. I think people have messed about with learning sonar reflections in some sophisticated way - I've often wondered how good you could get at interpreting the echoes.
weedy, Apr 16 2005

       How would you find the barcode to read? With your hands. By the time you've flipped the thing around and found that damn barcode strip, you've gotten enough of a feel to know what the object is.
disbomber, Apr 16 2005

       I don't know, but off the top of my head I would say that a blind person would get all the information they need from touch, in cases where they could wield a barcoder. A Braille labeller ([weedy]) seems like a more appropriate solution in any case.
Basepair, Apr 16 2005

       I agree that it might not be worth while to add barcode labels to everything. Where the concept comes in handy is doing a database lookup based on the UPC of canned goods and saying the name of the product. A holographic scanner would make short work of finding the barcode.
half, Apr 16 2005

       Half - now that IS a good idea - a talking barcode reader to read the barcodes that are already on things. Brill! [+] for this anno
Basepair, Apr 16 2005

       Could all goods be subtly barcoded with contours. Blind people could read a '3D barcode'. Ooh, I've had an idea!
weedy, Apr 16 2005

       [half] I like that idea, better than my own. Well, I guess that's what annotations are for. I think it should read existing barcodes (like for canned foods) and also be able to use a customized barcode that you stick on, and act as a memo recorder. Combine the ideas, and I think it would be a great idea.
-----, Apr 17 2005

       I still think the customized barcode would be more trouble and expense than it's worth.   

       Having an audio barcode reader for store products might be useful because many products (such as cans, etc.) on store shelves look the same. They'd still have barcodes on them when you get home, so you can read them there. The sense of touch can tell you all you need to know about anything that isn't mass-produced to be like everything else in your house.
disbomber, Apr 17 2005

       How about having a store offer a handheld or trolley-mounted voice-readout barcode scanner for visually-impaired shoppers? The scanner could interface wirelessly with the store's network so no extra data entry would be required?
supercat, Apr 17 2005

       Why would it be expensive? Beside the barcode reader, I mean. The stickers would just be, well, stickers.
-----, Apr 17 2005

       Darn, I can't see/find my bar code reader... RFID might be better as it has some range and those will presumably be on every item fairly soon. The good holo style bar code readers are actually pretty bulky as they do have to wrap the laser lines around the object (even then the cashier has to position and rotate the item being inspected).
Widgit, Apr 17 2005

       What if the barcode stickers had a raised pattern, to easily find the barcode? That way, you don't need a holographic bulky one, because you can find the barcode. I thought of RFID, but it might get confused by nearby things, such as cans in a pantry.
-----, Apr 17 2005

       <oblig> Of course, this could be a useful application for RFID. Whilst scanning for barcodes is indeed a bit silly, it *might* be useful if someone could identify all the objects (/unusual objects) in a given setting. </oblig>
neilp, Apr 18 2005

       yes, RFIDs would be the way to go for something like this.   

       Might be interesting to have a glove that would announce what the object is when you pick it up or drones an inventory when you make a slow motion wave motion with your hand.
theircompetitor, Apr 18 2005

       It would be worth it just for the cases of "what's in this can or box?". We could have a standard for where to place the barcode on those.   

       No reason why the standard scanner couldn't be hacked to use custom bar-codes too. That way, you could use it for presciption meds, and leftovers in the fridge.
sophocles, Apr 18 2005

       Obligatory RFID posting & drink.
disbomber, Apr 18 2005

       this could lead to some interesting situations. for instance, if you programmed a barcode to read "jerk" and then stuck it on your boss... i suppose it would be fun for the moment before you got flash-jacketed.
chlorinebeach, Apr 22 2005

       Well, since I'm not blind, i'm not sure if that would work well. I would say that it would probably be too much trouble to put barcodes on everything. Though I do like the thought of putting a "jerk" barcode on someone.heeheehee!
hobbitcoat, Apr 22 2005

       I met a blind guy who had a bar code reader for use in stores. For use in the home, printed braille sticks would be MUCH more convenient than this solution. And for things like calendars, screen reader software and blind-oriented computers are preferable to any sort of calendar bar code sticker solution.
aguydude, Mar 18 2008


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