ZoomReader – Speech to Text App for iPhone/iOS

Ai Squared has created a new app for the iPhone and iPod Touch (soon iPad 2) that not only zooms text for visually impaired people but also reads the text back to them.

So what’s so special about this app? It sounds like just another text to speech app, doesn’t it?

ZoomReader is meant not only for text in documents but pretty much any text – even on boxes, bottles, or any object you can think of that has some text on it. The concept behind the app is very simple – The user takes a picture of the text on an object/ document with their iPhone camera. The app then converts the picture digitally into text using OCR, and reads the text out loud to the user. The app automatically focusses the camera before taking a picture. However, the user can manually focus the camera too by tapping the screen in the center. The app also does a digital zoom on the object so that users could just read enlarged text without going through the OCR process.

Ai Squared claims that this app can have 98% accuracy if the phone is used with a “clamp stand” so that the camera does not shake while taking pictures (perhaps like this one?).

This app is available in the iTunes App Store for $19.99 for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and will soon be available for the iPad 2 (this app is compatible with iOS 4.2+ only). There is no news on when Android users would get this app.

Please watch this video to see ZoomReader in action.

Source: WSJ Blog


  1. Really good information…Until the release of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, users with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities relied on either dedicated devices or arcane, varying-quality software on PCs or Macs to get the support …

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  2. This video is very helpful in knowing some new features of the text reader and hope to look at some more video's too in future too. Great efforts and I do appreciate them.

  3. When will you have an update for iOS 11? Paid $20 for this app and I’d hate to go without it.

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