The LINX project, initiated by the LRDE, was selected in the call for proposals FUI 14. It is planned for a period of 36 months. The consortium gathers, besides the LRDE: Open wide, Armines Centre for Mathematical Morphology (CMM), A+B, ITESOFT, BrailleNet.

Texts are omnipresent in our daily life and bring us constantly a huge amount of vital practical information. Vision impairment, which affects more than one million people in France, deprives a significant percentage of the population of this important information (source: Directorate for Research, Studies, Assessment, and Statistics, DREES, Studies and Results N°416 July 2005). There are many examples of situations in everyday life that constitute a major challenge for those affected by this type of disability as:

  • Obtaining current information as prices in a supermarket, on a restaurant menu;
  • Reading independently your paper mail and important documents;
  • Reading the labels of consumer products and extracting necessary information (expiration date, composition - particularly in the case of food allergies, etc.).
  • Reading a manual or the instructions for a device;
  • Reading a book, a newspaper or a catalog independently;
  • Situating oneself in a city: this involves being able to read the stations served by a train or a bus arriving at the platform, to read street names and directional signs or even locate a shop sign from a distance;
  • Reading professional plates or the door phone at the entrance of a building;
  • Reading warning signs for exceptional hazard.

The goal of our project is to develop an automatic reader to help visually impaired people in their everyday lives, making them accessible some of the textual information.

To be truly at the service of the user, this reader should be:

  • portable,
  • easy to use
  • without any constraints that would make it impossible for the visually impaired to use the device
  • capable of reproducing the information in an appropriate way.

Our first application will be on Android smartphones which have nowadays the necessary hardware capabilities.