11 Dec 2022

An optimised dictionary makes a reader pen easier to use

The purpose of a reader pen is to make it easier to learn regardless of a person’s reading abilities. That’s why a modern reader pen must be designed to be efficient and easy to use. Two crucial factors are a dictionary optimised for the pen and higher reading speeds

Optimising the dictionary for a reader pen

When you look up a word in an ordinary dictionary, you get a lot of various types of information. You learn about everything from pronunciation, grammatical information and inflexions to different explanations and references to other words. Selecting which information is relevant in a specific context is complex. When you write, you may be more interested in the grammatical information, such as how to inflect the word in the text. But when you read, you primarily want to understand what the word means in a particular context.

The reader pen’s dictionary must filter out the word’s definition to be helpful. For example, if you scan “bicycle”, you only need the description “two-wheeled vehicle”. The fact that “bicycle” is a noun or how it is inflected is irrelevant. A modern reader pen can pick out concrete definitions and show them individually so you can step through them. It should also be able to read out when you press a specific explanation. Because you use the pen only when you read, you are only interested in knowing what you’re reading. By filtering out only the definition, you avoid being confused by all the surrounding information in the dictionary.

It’s also essential that the dictionaries are of high quality. The next-generation C-Pen primarily uses dictionaries licensed from Oxford. Oxford Primary is aimed at younger people, with slightly more straightforward explanations and fewer difficult words. For example, if you look up the word “cat”, the definition is not “Computer Aided Technology”, as it might be in an academic dictionary. But the next-generation C-Pen also has a scholastic dictionary, so you can choose which one you want to enter and adapt it based on your level and purpose.

Personalised reading speed

If you have cognitive limitations that make it difficult for you to read, you need time to process what you hear and what you see. Therefore, C-Pen has always had the option to slowly read the text aloud and insert pauses between words, punctuation and sentence endings to give the user extra time to process what they have read or listened to.

Many users who have dyslexia, however, have no cognitive limitations. Therefore, in the next-generation C-Pen, you can increase the reading speed to a decently fast speed. The pace is not ultra-fast but still quicker than a human reading aloud. A person with severe dyslexia sometimes has to listen to whole paragraphs. In this case, it is good if it is quick because the reader may become impatient if the pace is too slow. And if you’re doing an exam, it can be good not to waste time just listening. The possibility to increase reading speed is a pure productivity feature that’s useful, especially for those with no cognitive limitations.