It is now possible to get the web version of the vOICe working on a raspberry pi 4. This means that it is possible to regain vision like abilities for roughly $200 or less.
What you need
In terms of hardware, you need the following things.
- The raspberry pi 4.
- A camera connected via USB or the pi camera.
- All the other prerequisits mentioned in my post on Getting orca to run on the raspberry pi
- A pair of wired headphones connected to the pi.
Checking the camera
Connect the camera to the pi and ensure it is working. If using a USB webcam, use the following command.
The above command lists all the hardware that has been detected by the way. Your camera should be in this list. If not, you will need to use your favorite search engine or to a forum of your choice to troubleshoot.
Getting the software ready
The vOICe needs the graphical user interface to be working on the pi. As of this writing, I have not found a way to run it from the console. Please follow all the steps that I have listed in my post on getting the orca screen reader running on the raspberry pi 4.
Once you have chromium talking, please continue reading this post.
Getting the vOICe up
Do ensure that your camera is connected.
- Launch chromium
- Hit f6 if necessary and then alt+d to get to the address bar.
- Navigate to the web version of the vOICe
- You now need to tab around and allow chromium access to the camera. If you do not see this prompt, press f6 and then tab. This permission is crucial else the vOICe will be unable to access the camera.
You are done, you should hear the vOICe sounding. Move the camera around and hear the soundscapes change.
One of the biggest strengths of this setup is that you can choose what modules you want to add. I cannot suggest what battery pack / power bank you go for. Do check the power specifications of the pi 4. You will also need to enclose the raspberry pi in a case. The case is up to you. I have used an off-the-shelf abs container for my case.
Why wired headphones
I have not tested Bluetooth headphones with my pi 4 therefore cannot comment how the soundscapes will sound. If you do test this, let me know and I will update this post.