Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

The Zoom-Ex Portable Scanner

ABISee, Inc., developer of products for low vision and blind computer users, has developed the Zoom-Ex Portable Scanner which makes it possible to turn any computer into an accessible scanner and reader for blind users.

The durable but lightweight design of the Zoom-Ex Portable Scanner consists of a 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch digital camera on a stand, with the stand also acting as a guide for lining up the book or document to be scanned. Because of this unique camera and stand design, the camera is always at the exact distance it needs to create a clear image and the blind user always knows exactly where to place the material to be scanned.

The Zoom-Ex Portable Scanner can operate in either manual or automatic mode. When in automatic mode, Zoomex senses when a page has been turned, leaving the user's hands free to easily turn the pages.

Because the Zoom-Ex scanner includes its own text-to-speech and OCR programs and runs off any Windows-based computer or laptop, you can use it almost anywhere that there is a computer on which to install the software: in the classroom or library, at conferences and on vacation.

Product features:

  • Intuitive design makes it easy to position books and documents for scanning since the unique L-shaped design of the stand provides a guide for aligning materials.
  • Easy to start and stop scanning or reading with a single key press.
  • Faster than traditional flatbed scanners - from start of scan to the time Zoomex begins reading takes only three to seven seconds.
  • Allows user to read by page, section, sentence, or word, in addition to being able to set a variety of voice preferences.
  • Recognizes and verbally identifies page formatting and design elements, including columns.
  • Lightweight weighs only one pound.
  • Fits in a standard backpack when folded: dimensions (folded) are 17 1/2 inches length 4 1/2 inches wide.
  • Runs off of USB - no additional power packs or batteries required.
For more information, click this link to go to the ABISee, Inc. Website: or call toll free: 800-681-5909.

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