flow : enhances reading experience

A handled IoT device for bookworms, students and dyslexic individuals to help them keep track of their vocabulary and its etymology.

Public Chat
Similar projects worth following
Systematically improving your vocabulary sharpens and enriches your thinking, push back your intellectual horizons, build your self-assurance, improve your facility in handling the language and thereby your ability to express your thoughts effectively and acquire a deeper understanding of the world in general and of yourself in particular.

Every time you read and you come across a new word, here's what you might skip the word and pretend you know the meaning, assume a different word meaning, google search it's meaning or Look-up a dictionary. The cognitive costs in switching tasks while reading can drain a beautiful reading experience and break the FLOW of reading.

Imagine a handheld device that can scan the word as you read and display its meaning and etymology in an instant and keep a repository of words the user comes across, and also gives an audio response of the word's pronunciation.

Education testing indicates that children of ten who have grown up in families in which English is the native language have recognition, vocabularies of over twenty thousand words. And that these same ten-year-old have been learning new words at a rate of many hundreds a year since the age of four. In astonishing contrast, studies show that adults who are no longer attending school increase their vocabularies at a pace slower than twenty-five to fifty words annually

How do you assess your own vocabulary?

Is it quantitatively healthy?

Rich in overall range?

Responsive to any situation in which you may find yourself?

Truly indicative of your intellectual potential?

More important, is it still growing at the same rapid rate as when you were a child?

Or,as most adults your rate of increase dropped drastically since you left school?And if so do you now feel that your vocabulary is somewhat limited, your verbal skills not as sharp as you would like them to be?

Increase your vocabulary - properly, intelligently and systematically - means treating yourself to an all-round , liberal education.And surely you cannot deny that such a experience will change you intellectually- will have a discernible effect on your methods of thinking - on your store of information - on your ability to express your ideas - on your understanding of human problems.

The idea is have a handheld device / reading companion , like a highlighter, except it's a scanner that would give people the ability to scan words as they read , and an embedded display would show the word meaning and its etymology instantly.This would enable the reader to stay in a mental zone - what I like to call flow.The device will have the ability to pair with a phone and a cloud account which will keep track of the users vocabulary.

The cloud will keep a repository of words and reminds the user about the word until he remembers it. It will also have a data analytics application to show a diversity score and richness of his vocabulary based on his peers of the same age and location. The device will be equipped with a little torch and aux out to enable user to read in low light conditions and listen to music. The aux will also give out the correct pronunciation of the word. It will also have OTA updates for multi-linguistic scanning capabilities.

  • WiFi configuration and AWS server hosting

    karthik ram5 days ago 0 comments

    This device connects to an access point and creates a client sockets and connects to a TCP server running on AWS EC2 cloud service. Multiple Devices can now connect to the TCP sever hosted on AWS and stream their sensor scans. 

    The next steps involve... 

    1. Getting a cleaner scan data from the linear sensor 

    2. Extract the word from it using OCR 

    3. Send back the word meaning and its etymology to the device

  • Project planning

    karthik ram04/19/2019 at 05:31 0 comments

View all 2 project logs

Enjoy this project?



RichardCollins wrote 04/26/2019 at 07:27 point


You are right.  I was not thinking of the whole world.  My older sister is an avid reader of books, but she is using various kinds of Kindle. 

I read your description again more closely.  

You want 

*  Handheld device with text scanner and OCR capability

*  Internet connection to check words against an Internet database.  

*  Display for meaning of words

*  Audio output for pronunciation of words

*  Flashlight (torch) for low light reading

*  Audio output also for music (headphone jack?)

*  Online software for storing data from many (millions?) people

*  Online software to analyze data from many people

*  Muliple language capability

My cell phone has a camera, storage, Internet, Audio, music and a light.  It can be programmed.  There are multiple apps for OCR with pronunciation. There are multiple apps for different languages.

Your unique contribution is not a piece of hardware. But bringing them together

***** And, the online analysis of the words and use

***** And, the interaction with the reader, their experience, and leading them to learn and grow

If you want to accomplish your whole project, I encourage you to start with a cell phone.  

1.  "Simulate" your whole device on the cell phone by writing or finding apps and putting them together.  

2.  Write an online tool to analyze the words the way you want

3.  Have the phone app log into the web service, store the words, look up the meaning, and try all parts of your complete servcies.

4. Show it to people and see if they like it.  Would they use it on their phones?  Would they like it separate from their phone?

5.  Have you considered adding a wand or scanner - bluetooth or usb to a phone?


  Are you sure? yes | no

karthik ram wrote 04/26/2019 at 09:34 point

Thank you for putting all that together Richard. That really sums it up. I'd like to add the following to your view.

I was asked by a lot of my peers to make use of a cell phone.I'm not saying this is the only way to check for word meanings. The idea of flow revolves around having cognitive costs in switching tasks. I wouldn't want to type in a word into an app or take the effort of scanning it from a camera. The idea is to keep the user focused on the reading material. A phone is a source of notifications and distractions. 

As of now, I'm working on a device that is connected to the internet , but later, I will be moving the application to a SoC , which would perform OCR on board. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

RichardCollins wrote 04/25/2019 at 10:30 point


I like the concept, but unless the device can read along with me as I work on my computer(s) , it would likely slow me down.  I have long wanted a companion in the browser that would keep track of every search, keep track of every word and search term and it collocates in any other context.  I would like it to go on its own and find things for me.  If I scan five sites on a topic, I would like to to read a few hundred simliar ones and give me a complete rundown on what it found - in summary, in mind map, and in complete detail if I want.  Plus go "live" to the site if needed.

Because I read so many topics on the web, I probably have to pick up ten to twenty thousand specialized terms and words every year.  Just today I was working on seismometers, Bose Einstein Condensates, statistical measures of ocean wave heights, Feshbach resonances, unitary Fermi gases, tidal and tsunami monitoring stations, gravity imaging of the roots of volcanoes, millikevlin technologies, holographic microscopy, the Efimov effect (BECs), measurements of G (gravitational constant), Johnson noise, gravimeter earthquake early warning, atom interferometer gyroscopes gravitmeters and magnetometers, electrochemical accelerometers - and many more. I go through 20,000 pages on the web a month and most are 10 to 20 page scientific articles.  I have had to memorize and be able to use every conceivable unit and scientific formula, every possible mathematical, and programming tool.  The explosion on the web probably means that most kids plugged into the Internet are going to be doing the same. People don't have to know everything, just how to find and use it.

So I could really use a companion to look over my shoulder, or simply there in my browser taking notes and remembering everything for me. I have a nearly photographic memory, but as I get older there is so much already in my memory, and I get tired.  So having the computer/ companion/ browser assistant/ personal secretary/ intelligent topic spiders/ intelligent site profiler/ intelligent data memory browser --- could really help.

I have tried many times to write such things but it is hard to build tools to do something and do that something at the same time. 

Keep up the great work!!

Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation

  Are you sure? yes | no

karthik ram wrote 04/25/2019 at 10:39 point

Thank you so much for the feedback Mr. Richard Collins. Yes, most of our generation is growing around screens and other reading devices. But I do believe there is a vast majority of people who still prefer hand held text. A lot of schools in India still use paper back textbooks, reading newspapers is a everyday ritual here. Some websites suggest that 70-80% still read from hand held textbooks across the globe. Unfortunately I'm not working on solutions for the browsers, not my area of expertise. Do follow my project and keep giving me your valuable feedback as I progress!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates