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App helps those with sight loss to read

Feb. 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- British researchers say they've developed software that converts electronic books into a format enabling people with macular degeneration to read.

Researchers at Royal Holloway University London say converting e-books into a single line of continuously scrolling text can help those suffering from one of the most common causes of sight loss to read, The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

Macular degeneration caused loss of sight from the center of the field of vision, making it difficult for sufferers to focus on detail, especially large chunks of text.

The Royal Holloway researchers said their system allowed them to use their peripheral vision to read instead.

"Scrolling text across a screen aids the ability to see it in the peripheral vision, so it means people with macular disease can read more easily," psychologist Robin Walker said.

"We have developed an application that converts e-pub documents used to create electronic books into this format automatically."

The MD_evReader app for the iPad creates text that scrolls across the screen at an adjustable speed in large brightly colored letters, he said.

"Volunteers who have been involved in testing the app have largely reported that the experience of reading was greatly improved with this system."

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