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What Is a Video Magnifier?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2014
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    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A video magnifier is a device that basically captures an image of an object and then allows viewing of that object on a monitor or screen with various levels of possible magnification. These types of devices are available in a number of different models, though they are typically designed as a desktop device that can capture images from a piece of paper or other object placed under a camera and then display that image on a large screen. A video magnifier can also be a device designed with a projector, which allows an image scanned or captured by the device to be projected onto a screen, wall, or other large object.

The purpose of a video magnifier is typically to allow someone to scan or capture an image through a digital video camera and then display that image on a screen. This type of device is often used by people with visual impairments, to render pages of a magazine or other documents larger for easier viewing. A desktop video magnifier, for example, usually has a small platform with a raised arm that supports a monitor. Documents can be placed on this platform, over which a camera is located, and then displayed in real time on the monitor, with additional controls to increase magnification and zoom in on particular areas of the image.

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There are also portable devices that can be used as a video magnifier, usually including a smaller camera and a small display that is part of the device. While this type of magnifier may not present a large overall image in the same way a desktop device can, it is capable of zooming in on a small region of text or an image and making it larger. This can allow someone who has difficulty reading small text to use a portable video magnifier to read menus in a restaurant or more easily perform research in a library.

A video magnifier can also include a projector to magnify an image and project that zoomed-in aspect onto a screen or other large surface. Artists can use these types of magnifiers to scan a picture or other object, and then project a larger version of it onto a canvas for use in creating an original work. A video magnifier can also refer to a fairly large magnifying glass or sheet that can be placed over a computer monitor or other display. This usually clips onto the monitor and increases the size of objects on that display, for easier viewing by people with visual impairments.

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