Tuesday, January 11, 2011

i.d. mate Summit

Image of i.d. mate Summit, with neck strap

The i.d. mate Summit is a talking bar code reader from En-Vision America. Users can scan an item with the Summit and it will provide audio information about that item. The device is light enough to hold in one hand and move the item in question with the other hand until you’ve located the bar code. The Summit knows when it’s found the bar code and will automatically start reading out loud. It only has five buttons and an on/off button, easily distinguished by touch.

I recently had the opportunity to try it out and as I pulled the Summit out of its box for the first time, I was a little apprehensive. At first I could not locate the on/off switch, but after a few minutes of fumbling around and referring to the provided CD audio manual, I was able to locate the switch, turn it on, and then I was off and running around like a kid in a candy shop! I immediately started scanning everything with a barcode I could get my hands on, including food items and cleaning supplies. The Summit was able to identify almost every item I grabbed. The Summit will even read ingredients, instructions, product slogans, and more if they are pre-programmed with the barcode. After playing with it for about an hour, I felt like a pro bar code scanner.

To me, one of the best parts about the device is that if the product isn’t found, the i.d. mate Summit provides you the opportunity to record your own label. For example, I tried the Summit out on a tub of ice cream. The device told me that the item wasn’t found and to push the record button if I wanted to record my own label. I recorded a very simple message including the flavor but since ice cream doesn’t last forever, I thought my label was lost when I threw out the container. However, when I picked up a new one at the grocery store my recorded label was waiting for me. As long as the ice cream’s bar code doesn’t change, my label won’t either. The device even comes with blank bar codes for you to use on things in your own homes, like clothing.

The Summit is simple and useful and provides an individual with vision loss the independence to shop, make dinner, organize laundry and do it all knowing exactly what’s in hand. If you are interested in trying out the i.d. mate Summit, it is available for short term loan in our AT Lending Library.

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