Net|Soft's EyeReader Is an iPhone Magnifier for the Baby Boomer Set

Q: Though I often forget to wear or misplace by reading glasses when leaving the house or office, they seem so outdated anyway. How can I make sense of the fine print using the tools I already have?

MagnifierToolkit-Post.jpgA: There are plenty of applications available that will turn your smartphone into a magnifying glass, but a new one from Net|Soft Engineering promises to be the first to target Baby Boomers specifically. (It's the first in what this developer promises will be a line of iPad and iPhone apps for individuals over the age of 45. The line will be rolled out over the next six months.)

The San Antonio-based Net|Soft has made the EyeReader available in the iTunes store for $1.99 and it's currently enjoying a five-star rating. But what makes this different from other magnifying glass applications available in the store? "The EyeReader is the only app of its kind to utilize iPhone 4's full 3.5-inch widescreen display, giving users the ability to zoom in and out with two fingers via touch-screen technology," according to a press release that went out last week in celebration of the app's success in more than 20 countries since being made available in early March. "Unlike an ordinary magnifier, the EyeReader efficiently uses the iPhone 4 bright LED light to illuminate any surface up to 5X magnification."

"You may forget your reading glasses, but you're never without your iPhone," said Gerry Lavender, the creator of EyeReader. "As a Baby Boomer myself I fully understand the challenges seniors face...." And what's good for seniors and Baby Boomers could also be good for everyone else. I have a pair of prescription glasses, but I rarely wear them as I can see most things that I encounter on a day-to-day basis just fine. Still, the EyeReader application isn't performing miracles; it won't allow the blind to see. But it will make reading a menu in a dark restaurant a whole lot easier.

Lavender is currently at work on a version of EyeReader that will be compatible with Android phones.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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