Editors' Pick: ReadingPen II

WizCom Technologies Inc., (888) 777-0552, www.wizcomtech.com

The ReadingPen II from WizCom Technologies Inc. is a portable assistive reading tool that helps students who have difficulty recognizing or understanding words by reading scanned words aloud via its text-to-speech technology. The ReadingPen II is ideal for ESL students, as well as students with learning disabilities and reading difficulties. It is also useful for educators who enjoy having an English dictionary immediately accessible.

When students are reading and come to an unrecognized or difficult word they scan the word or line of text, which is then displayed and read aloud within seconds through the ReadingPen's built-in speaker. The ReadingPen II also provides students with a definition of the scanned word or line of text, which can be read aloud as well. In addition, students have the option of plugging in earphones to the pocket-sized reading tool's output socket for private listening. Individual words are enlarged on the ReadingPen's easy-to-read LCD window, and can be spelled out or broken down into syllables. The tool's optical head recognizes a variety of styles, as well as font sizes from 6-22 points. It also keeps a history of the last 80 words scanned, and is adjustable for left- or right-handed users. The ergonomic ReadingPen II is 6" in length and weighs 3 oz. The tool also contains the entire American Heritage College Dictionary, Third Edition and comes with an Opticard that lets users manually input text.

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2002 issue of THE Journal.