NID alumnus develops Braille phone for visually-impaired

For the visually-impaired, a new Braille phone could be a reality soon, thanks to NID alumni Sumit Dagar, who's been working on such a device.


For the visually-impaired, a new Braille phone could be a reality soon, thanks to NID alumnus Sumit Dagar, who's been working on such a device.

According to TED talk page of Dagar,

The phone works on a simple framework: It varies the height of a pixel instead of color to communicate information on "screen". A high resolution screen of such kind is capable of conveying simple Braille text as well as shapes and figures of all kinds. Apart from this, the screen is touch responsive, and hence displays information as well acts as an input modality. The tactile input and feedback system enables a blind user to use the phone to comfortably fulfill the expected tasks.

NID alumnus develops Braille phone for visually-impaired

Image from SumitDagar's website.

tech2 reports that the phone converts any SMS or email sent to it, to Braille. The report also states the main component which helps the blind interact with the smartphone and understand what is being shown on screen is haptic feedback.

Haptic feedback, Dagar says, is the primary medium of communication, using which the visually-impaired can feel or 'touch' the information on the screen.

Dagar has been working on the project since 2009. In an interview to Times of India, Dagar revealed that he is collaborating with IIT Delhi on making the prototype, which is currently being tested at L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad.

"The response during the test has been immense. It comes out as a companion more than a phone to the user. We plan to do more advanced versions of the phone in the future," he told TOI.

Dagar also won the Rolex Young Laureate Award for 2012, which is helping to fund his project. More on that here.

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