NOTE: Our app code didn't make it onto github, here it is in a zip file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uTDy1dpuMXBn0gBMWz8Jt3J-y2ANZ4G2/view?usp=sharing
In a world where access to education is considered a fundamental right, it is disheartening to witness the barriers that blind students face in obtaining the same educational resources and content as their sighted peers. We believe that every student, regardless of visual impairment, deserves equal opportunities to explore and engage with the vast knowledge and information present in print media.
The traditional approach of relying solely on Braille, though commendable, has not been fully embraced or implemented to its fullest extent. As a result, blind students often find themselves at a disadvantage, struggling to access the wealth of information contained within print materials.
❤️ Our mission is to bridge this gap and empower blind students by providing them with an innovative solution through EchoReader.❤️
By harnessing the power of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and advanced vocalization capabilities, we aim to revolutionize the educational landscape for blind students. Our app serves as a conduit, granting them seamless access to printed content that was once beyond their reach.
We envision a future where blind students no longer feel left behind, where they can explore literature, textbooks, articles, and any print media with ease, fostering a love for learning that knows no boundaries. By providing alternative avenues for accessing educational resources, we aspire to level the playing field, giving blind students an equal chance to pursue their passions, expand their horizons, and thrive academically.
💙 Because education should be limitless and accessible to all, we are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of blind students through EchoReader. 💙
What it does
With EchoReader, blind students can simply submit pictures of the text they wish to read, and through the magic of OCR, the app swiftly converts the images into text. But we don't stop there. We understand the importance of retaining the essence of the written word and the joy of reading. Therefore, the text is transformed into melodic audio clips, allowing blind students to immerse themselves in the same content as their sighted peers.
How we built it
We built the OCR and vocalizer code with Flask, tesseract, and coqui TTS. The app was made with Flutter, while the website was made with Next.js.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge with the app was getting data to the server. We struggled a lot with the get request formatting because Dart is just horrible. Regardless, we fixed that and the app started getting audio. The reason the website isn't fully functional is because we ran into a CORS error, and despite using the correct headers, the error didn't go away.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to make a robust OCR system that can read text in all sorts of lighting conditions.
What we learned
We learned how to use Next.js, as well as how to interface Flask with a Flutter application.
What's next for EchoReader
First and foremost, we would like to fix the website and get it up and running on a hosting service like Vercel, so that everyone can use our app. We also designed our application with multiple image inputs in mind, and we never really got time to test that, so we will work on that. From there, we'll go whichever way the wind blows. This is a really promising application and we want to see what more we can do with it!