No braille? No problem! This FingerReader by the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab is a high-tech way to help visually impaired people read; it actually scans printed text and narrates it aloud.
This short vid shows how it works from a few different angles, but basically: as a fingertip follows along in a book (or Kindle), a camera in the oversized ring records and analyses the words, which are then said in a Stephen Hawking-like voice. Haptic clues — like vibrations — are given to the user when she nears the end of a line and to note where a new one begins, as well as if she begins to drift off track.
Plus, apparently it’s also a freaking translator! Imagine just running your hand along a page written in another language and being able to understand the whole thing.
Of course, it seems like a headphone jack might be a solid addition, so the sounds don’t get lost in a noisy room (or bug others in a quiet setting), and it might be tough to take in a whole novel like this, but it seems like it’s got awesome potential. What the fuck is your wearable strategy now, huh? [Fluid Interfaces Group]