Our Claro ScanPen App lets you quickly read back text from any paper document – book page, paper, just take a photo and select the text to read it back. It’s always been very popular on iPhone and iPad and on Android, but we never did a version for laptops like Chromebooks: holding a book up to your laptop webcam doesn’t work well at all!

Now, however, Chromebooks are available as tablets too, so we have developed a Claro ScanPen for Chromebooks! It has the same simple principles: point at the text, snap a photo, then simply select with your finger to hear it read aloud with high-quality synthesized speech as many times as you need. It’s a great way to make any printed text accessible, so readers of any level or disability (who can operate the tablet!) can make sense of it. Here’s a quick video showing how:

Take photos, select the text in them, hear it read aloud!

What’s new?

There are some differences with the iPhone, iPad and Android versions, though:

  • It needs an Internet connection. Chromebooks are super-affordable, which means that the processors are sometimes not powerful enough to do the hard job of turning the photograph into text. It’s still fast and works well, but you do need to be online.

Why does ScanPen comes with ClaroRead Chrome as a nice add-on, rather than a whole new thing to buy separately? It’s because of the hardware: again, as affordable devices, many Chromebooks (tablet or laptop) have cameras that are fine for video conferencing or quick photos, but don’t have the resolution and power to take a good enough photo of a page of text that can be processed into speech. We don’t want to put Claro ScanPen Chromebook out there as a standalone App when we know that it won’t work well on some devices, so it’s simply included with ClaroRead and you can see if works well for you and your machines.

Tips to know!

Top tips for using Claro ScanPen include having as much light on the page as you can and getting as good a photo as possible by keeping the device still. You might even consider putting a Chromebook on a stand to create an inexpensive book reader.

How to get Claro ScanPen?

Get Claro ScanPen now from the Chrome Web Store!

Claro ScanPen in the Chrome Web Store

More Information

Claro ScanPen Chromebook page

Release Notes


Assistive Software Developer Jacob

Visit Roadmap to see what we are planning to build in the coming months. To see what we actually built, see Releases. If you have something you think we should do, why not tell us?