Have you ever wanted to have an ebook read to you but felt that simply turning on the Android TTS feature was too easy? Have you ever wanted to remove the DRM from an ebook but decided that the existing DRM removal tools required too little work?
Then you might be interested in the BrickPi Bookreader. This project combines Legos, a camera, and a Raspberry Pi to offer a new solution pesky problems that no one has any more.
It was developed by engineers who were clearly inspired by a book scanner made up of a Macbook, a Kindle, and Legos (some people are lucky enough to never have to grow up) and works on a very similar principle as that kludged together book scanner.
The BrickPi Bookreader relies on a Raspberry Pi to function as a controller for the page turn mechanism. It take photos of the screen of the tablet with the camera and then convert the page image to text so it can be either read aloud or converted into a text file (more or less what you started with).
The model shown above and below is designed to work with most 7″ Android tablets or the iPad Mini. larger or smaller devices would require modifying the stand to change the size:
So what’s the point of this contraption?
Other than combining the work of Rube Goldberg with the work of MC Escher, I don’t know. But if you delight in doing things the hard way then you should go read the Dexter Industries blog. They have detailed instructions on how you can build one.
As for me, I took the shorter route of going into the settings menu and enabling TTS.
P.S. And in case you are wondering, this is why I’m not an engineer. I’ve never believed the maxim “if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features”. Simple works for me.