A Full Review of the Orcam Read and How I Use It

1st July 2022

A review of the OrCamRead device and how I use it to be more independent as a visually impaired person.

Greetings Readers!

Today Iโ€™m reviewing the OrCam Read device and how I use it as a visually impaired person Since getting it in October last year it has completely changed the way I am able to read as a visually impaired person.ย 

Disclaimer: this device has been gifted.ย 

What is the OrCam Read?

The OrCam Read is a handheld device with an inbuilt camera that can scan and read any printed text and text that appears on any screen out loud. 

The device has been created to facilitate reading for people with visual impairments and other reading challenges.

It can be used in a variety of ways to either read large pieces of text or to find specific information using the smart reading feature. This feature can be controlled entirely with your voice.

For me, reading has always been one of my biggest struggles ever since I was young. Being that I have a background in English and Childrenโ€™s Literature Iโ€™m an avid book collector. I enjoy having them in physical form, I love having beautifully bound tomes and limited editions to admire on my bookshelf.

But sadly Iโ€™ve always had to simply admire them and read them using my phone or scan them onto my computer which makes the whole process of reading a book feelfell very disjointed.

But my OrCam Read has meant that now Iโ€™m able to enjoy reading all of my beautiful collected books and so much more besides.

What do I use t for? 

The device helps me hugely in my daily life to be able to read print in both printed and electronic copy. These are some of the things I am able to use my device to do.

How does it work? 

The device can be used in several ways. It can read text by scanning the entire page or document with the laser brackets framer. You simply press the trigger button, hold the device above the document and press it. This will scan the entire page and the OrCam voice will immediately start to read to you. 

Or you can change to the laser pointer to read out smaller pieces of text which can be useful in certain situations. This is great if you want to scan over a paragraph or the name on a packet for example. But this is great as itโ€™s a convenient option if you have some residual vision and want to streamline what you want to read.

Additionally, the device can also be used with its fantastic smart reading feature that enablesfeature enables you to have so much control over your reading experience by asking the OrCam Read from a list of commands to control how and what you read. 

The device also comes with a free App that can be downloaded to your iPhone which enables you to connect your Orcam Read to the internet for updates, change settings and watch video tutorials on how to use it. 

Smart Reading feature 

The Smart Reading feature is a fantastic feature that allows you to ask OrCam to find specific information in a piece of text.

Hey OrCam

The feature is controlled by voice command, although you will need to enable this feature through the app. 

Once this feature is enabled you can scan a document and then ask OrCam to enter smart reading. From there on you can say โ€œHey OrCamโ€ and then a command you would like to ask it such as โ€œread everything,โ€ โ€œread dates,โ€ โ€œstart fromโ€ and more.

What I really like about using the Hey OrCam feature is that it enables me to ask the OrCam to find specific words. For example I could read a menu and ask it to โ€œfind pizzaโ€ and it will read me all the results that include the word pizza in it. 

Or I could read a recipe and ask it to โ€œstart from add the eggsโ€ if I had gotten up to that specific point in the instructions.

Itโ€™s really great because it gives you so much autonomy over your reading experience and you can actually choose what you do and donโ€™t want to read. 

Major benefits to the OrCam Read

A photo of Emily using her OrCam Read to read a vintage book on flowers

Finance options

Due to the nature of the device this is a more expensive piece of equipment. But there are funding options if you are keen to add this piece of tech to your arsenal. 

OrCam Read does have financing options available for people who want to secure funding or pay in instalments.

Blind or visually impaired individuals in the UK may be eligible to get the OrCam Read through the Access to Work Program or Disabled Students’ Allowance for university students.

If you are looking to fund it yourself there are also options to spread the costs over a longer amount of time. 

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about the OrCam Read be sure visit my link.

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