Text that can be read aloud is invaluable for many learners who face challenges with reading. So, it’s helpful to be able to turn hard copy into digital text. Here’s an Android app that not only “scans” hard copy, it also reads the scanned text aloud. At $5.11 (Canadian), this app is what I consider a “low cost” solution for anyone who needs it.
scanthing is an Android app that uses the built in camera on an Android phone or tablet to “scan” pages of text. The scanned image is uploaded to scanthing‘s OCR server, which creates digital text. scanthing also provides text-to-speech for anyone who needs it. It’s worth noting that scanthing can import an image scanned elsewhere.
I tested scanthing with the Asus Transformer Prime and its 8 megapixel camera. The result was perfect digital text that could be read aloud without any problem. The only potential frustration might be the lag between scanning an image and obtaining the digital text. The delay is understandable because the OCR happens online “in the cloud”, but no one should expect instant results. It is also important to know that the original formatting of the scanned page is not retained.
Here’s a video demonstration of scanthing on a phone.