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Video magnifier apps

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Video Magnifier
Video Magnifier

Contents

Video Magnifiers

Video magnifiers help people with low vision be able to read and view with greater detail by streaming live zoomed-in video to a screen.

CCTV

Closed-circuit Television
Closed-circuit Television

Originally, video magnifiers have been closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera systems. They use a camera with a zoom lens to display the text or pictures on the screen to enable those with low-vision to still read and view print materials. Some have stationary mounted cameras at a fixed distance above a table that can move along the page (called an x-y table) and allow for hand writing beneath the camera mount. Some have hand-held cameras that can be used on anything within range of the camera cord, however this makes handwriting on the material difficult while holding the hand-held camera. Some of the corded camera devices have wheeled stands that make it easier to run the camera steadily over the material being viewed. Typically mounted CCTV systems cost between $1800 to $4000. [1]

Additional Features

Video magnifiers always have the ability to invert the color of the text to improve visibility for some people with low vision. Many, if not most now, are in color which provide important detail for photographs and maps. Varying the contrast on the display can allow people with vision problems to read or see more easily, it can also assist people with dyslexia to read. Some video magnifiers also have additional features on screen allowing the image to be frozen, manipulated, and saved for future use. [1]

Portable Dedicated Devices

Many portable video magnifiers are available to purchase online. The features attached to them vary with price. They may have a color camera and screen, they may only be good for black and white text. They may only allow a photo negative affect on contrast, or they may have a range of available contrast settings. They may be purely portable with a view screen, or they may be both portable and capable of plugging into a television or computer monitor. [2]

There's an App for That

Because of the growing ubiquity of smart phones and tablets, there is now a market of applications for video magnification. There appears to be only one Apple store app for video magnification available, "See it" for iPhone, iPod, and iPad. This offers alternate viewing modes in several color channels and costs $4.99. [3] There are many apps available for Droid phones and tablets through the Google Play Store. The quality of the image from the app depends on the device's camera and processing speed. Many are free or come as free "trial versions" with ads. [4] One in particular is the "Zoom Plus" magnifier app which is offered for free with no ads to allow availability and accessibility. [5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Video Magnifiers". American Foundation for the Blind, 2013. [1]
  2. Google Shop Results for Video Magnifier for Low Vision [2]
  3. See It Magnifier. [3]
  4. Google Play Store Video Magnifier Apps [4]
  5. Zoom Plus Video Magnifier [5]