App praised by Dame Judi Dench relaunches with new features

Posted: Thursday 23 January 2020

Researchers who created a world-first RSS news reader for people with macular disease, have updated the app to allow people to also read eBooks and emails.  

The unique app presents text as a single scrolling line, like a news RSS feed, and was created by Professor Robin Walker at Royal Holloway, and funded by the Macular Society. 

It previously only enabled users to read news online, but new features mean users can now read eBooks, emails and also any text they wish to read, by copying and pasting it into the app.

Dame Judi Dench first started using the original version of EV News in 2018, which helped her to learn scripts and read articles.

She said: “The device developed by Robin at Royal Holloway University is enormously beneficial, as it allows you to read as fast or as slow as you want and has a focal point for you to concentrate on.

“It really is a huge help and I hope a lot of other people with AMD find it as beneficial as I do.”

The EV platform enables readers to adjust the focus point position, modify text size, font and colour as well as fine-tune the reading speed to their pace. The reader now offers a wider selection of national and international news sources in a simple, accessible user interface based on the MDevReader, a free eBook reader.

It was designed to support the use of reading with the ‘eccentric viewing’ technique, whereby the text is presented as a single line that moves across the computer screen and the individual holds their gaze slightly away from the text that scrolls from right-to-left like a news ticker.

Professor Robin Walker said of his app: “Our research into reading in people with visual loss informed the development of this free reading aid and we are pleased to be able to make it widely available to people with macular degeneration.”

The EV News reader was first created by Robin Walker, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Royal Holloway and Codica Ltd, a London-based digital product studio.

For more information on how to access the reader, visit: