Voice Dream Scanner Logo

The App

Voice Dream, the company that brought us the Voice Dream Reader App, recently developed a new product, the Voice Dream Scanner App for iOS Apple devices.

Voice Dream Scanner allows one to take a picture of text and have it read aloud with its Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine.

Features

This app has many features to include:

  • Variable Playback Speed-the user has the option to change the playback speed in the settings.
  • Two Viewing Modes-The app extracts text from a document and allows you to view and hear the text being read aloud in two different modes:
    • Within a plain text document or
    • Within the actual picture of the original document.
  • Batch mode-The ability to take pictures of multiple pages.
  • Export scans as plain text or pdf to upload to Voice Dream Reader, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive.
  • Flash allowed for low-light conditions.
  • Adjust Photo with Cropping and Quality Enhancing tools.
  • No Internet Required to run the app.
  • Works with VoiceOver (the built-in Apple vision accessibility feature for people with vision disabilities).
  • Edge Detection-the app recognizes when the device camera has all the edges of the document in its sight.  It beeps to let you know to take the picture.
  • Auto Capture-when this feature is on, the app will automatically take the picture once the edges of the document are detected.
  • Auto Read-When this feature is turned on, it will read right after the picture is captured, so the user does not have to find play.
  • The Text is Highlighted as it is read aloud.

What I Like

  • Fantastic OCR Accuracy for 1 column documents. I discovered by accident that this app was even able to transform some of my Handwriting into text and read it aloud.
  • Very Fast OCR Processing.
  • Onboard Cropping and Image Enhancement.
  • The ability to capture and Recognize Text No Matter the Orientation of the camera.
  • Good Low-light Performance.
  • $6 Price Tag with no monthly fees.
  • Check out the video below from Illegally Sighted.
Voice Dream Scanner-Text Capture in PDF
Voice Dream Scanner in PDF Mode. All of the text is captured nicely; however, it is read out of order. Voice Dream is currently working to improve this feature.

 

Voice Dream Scanner-In Plain Text Mode
Voice Dream Scanner in Plain Text Mode

What I Would Like to See

  • Auto capture is currently in Beta-I was not able to get it to work consistently.  I am anxious to try it when it is fully developed.
  • Edge detection worked best when the mobile device was on a stand.  It did not tolerate me holding it very well.  Maybe it was just my inability to hold my 12.9″ iPad steady, but I would like to see it improved if it all possible.
  • The ability to Change the Highlighting without having to import the scan into Voice Dream Reader.
  • Video Tutorials and a Manual would be great in the future.
  • The ability to recognize columns within the text.  When I scanned in multi-column documents, the app read all over the document rather than reading it in order. I attempted this several times, before calling tech support.  Winston Chen, the app’s founder, responded immediately and told me that they were actually working on that feature right now.  So stay tuned!

Closing

Overall the Voice Dream Scanner app has one of the best OCR engines available, and for $6 dollars, it is a no-brainer to at least try for those that have the need!  If you would like to try this app, please contact us to schedule a demonstration or to borrow an iPad with this app and more: 1-800-895-4728 or info@ndassistive.org.

About Author

Jeannie Krull is the Program Director for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.