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Compiled by Sandy Russo
The C-Pen Reader pen scanner is a portable hand held device that has an inbuilt high accuracy Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Scanner. This allows the pen to scan each letter of a word and turn it into speech, which a listener can hear through earplugs. It weighs 50 grams and comes with a handy pouch and earplugs and is both Mac and PC compatible.
The C-Pen is useful at school, home or in the workplace. It enables both students and adults to read any material of a flat surface to be read independently. This means a reader can scan text from a book, newspaper, magazine, recipe book, or even the ingredients on a box of biscuits.
To use the C-Pen effectively, a user needs to be able to move the pen as you would when using a highlighter across a line of text. A shaky hand would make the scanner accuracy less reliable. The pen may not work over all surfaces, e.g. a round glass jar, and may not work over all fonts.
There is also a C-Pen Exam Reader available. The exam pen only reads the text that has been scanned. It has been approved to be used in exam conditions in Australia.
You can see and trial the C-Pen Reader and Exam Reader at SPELD SA. The Special Education Resource Unit (SERU) has limited pens that you can borrow for up to 4 weeks if you are a DECD school or a parent. There is a waiting list to borrow a pen.
The C-Pen Reader and Exam Reader are available through SPELD SA for $350. Purchase also includes free future upgrades.
The C-Pen features high quality naturally speaking British English, American English or Spanish voices.
For some students that rely on the pen to read more than a word or phrase, the pen enables you to capture and save quotes and other text of interest quickly. The text is saved in text files which are then easily transferred to your computer and are editable. You can scan large amounts of text to read later using your computer’s text-to-speech program.
The C-Pen Reader can also look up a word for you when you need to explore its meaning. Once you have selected the dictionary mode you can scan the pen across a word and it instantly displays the definition and reads it out aloud.
The C- pen uses the Collins English Dictionary (30th Anniversary Edition Tenth edition) or the Oxford (Spanish>English>Spanish Dictionary) selected through the settings menu.
The C-Pen Reader also features a microphone connector, allowing you to record audio. The audio files are saved in the device and can be retrieved and listened to any time. You can also upload the audio files to your computer.
In Settings, the device can be set to operate as either left or right-handed mode. The display simply “switches” to an upside down interface. The operating buttons are now to the right hand side of the user as is the scanning window. To reset it, just hold the unit in the left hand, scroll to Right-handed and press OK. All the menu item options are simple to operate and learn.
The C-Pen Reader also double as a USB drive. 3GB user space is available. Connect it to a USB port on your Mac, Windows or Linux computer.
The C-Pen Reader uses a standard micro USB connector for charging and connecting to computers, and a standard 3.5 mm connector for your favourite headphones.
Products are warranted against defects for 1 year from date of purchase.
SPELD SA would like to acknowledge the support of the Douglas Whiting Trust in the development of this website.
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